The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board has finalised the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games sport programme by deciding not to include the sport of Para bobsleigh.
In December 2020, the IPC announced that the five sports of Para alpine skiing, Para ice hockey, Para Nordic skiing, Para snowboard and wheelchair curling were confirmed for 2026 but that a decision on Para bobsleigh would be deferred until early 2021 pending clarification in several areas.
After clarifying these matters, the IPC Board decided not to include Para bobsleigh due to the sport not meeting the minimum criteria for the number of nations and regions regularly participating in the sport. According to data provided by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) to the IPC, the sport was widely and regularly practised in 10 countries and three IPC regions over the 2016/17-2019/20 seasons.
Under the IPC Handbook, for the Paralympic Winter Games an individual sport must be widely and regularly practised at the performance level in a minimum of 12 countries and three IPC regions over the designated four-year period.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “The IPC Governing Board decided not to include Para bobsleigh in the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games after the sport fell short of the minimum criteria required in terms of global participation over the last four seasons.
“In our review of documentation provided by IBSF, 10 countries can be considered as widely and regularly practising the sport over the last four seasons. This is two short of the minimum criteria for inclusion in the Paralympic Winter Games.
“I know this will be understandably disappointing news to the Para bobsleigh community. However, the sport should be encouraged that if it can maintain the participation levels it had during the 2019/2020 season when 16 nations took part in performance competitions, it will be in a strong position for inclusion in the 2030 edition of the Games.”
The Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games will take place between 6-15 March 2026.