The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that two medal events in Para-Snowboard will be included in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Male and female standing snowboarders will compete, marking the sport’s debut as part of the Paralympic program. The last Paralympic Winter Games was held in Vancouver in 2010. The event featured 502 athletes from 44 countries who contested 64 medals.
"We are thrilled by this latest development for Para~Snowboard," said Steven Hills, Canada~Snowboard, Executive Director. "Canada~Snowboard has worked extremely hard at developing the sport and athletes. Having it added to the Sochi Games after the earlier decision to leave it out of the program is very positive," continued Hills. " There is much work to do on a short time line to prepare our team for the games, however with the continued support of our valued partners, The WSF, Sport Canada and Own the Podium, I am confident that we will be ready to take on the world in what will be a historic event."
Canada~Snowboard's Para~Snowboard Program Manager and Head Coach, Candice Drouin added, "we are really excited about the inclusion for 2014. Canada~Snowboard has supported the development of athletes with a disability for the last six years and our athletes will be ready for Sochi!"
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 7-16, 2014. Para-Snowboard will be included in the Alpine Skiing program which also includes Downhill, Super G, Super Combined, Giant Slalom and Slalom events. Nordic Skiing will see a number of Biathlon and Cross Country events contested whilst other medal events will take place in Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling.
The qualification criteria for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be published on Monday 28 May 2012.
Gunnar Tveit, World Snowboard Federation (WSF) President, said: "The WSF are thrilled by the decision to include Para-Snowboard in the Paralympic program of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. Together with the IPC, the WSF National Snowboard Associations, and riders, we have been working towards this goal for the last six years."
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC's Chief Executive Officer, said: "Snowboard is a fast paced and extremely exciting sport and we are delighted that it will form part of the Alpine Skiing program at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. I am particularly looking forward to see how athletes perform in this exciting new discipline and believe it will prove extremely popular with spectators and TV viewers alike."
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said: "Snowboarding is a young and exciting sport and one which is attracting new audiences and participants everywhere.
For further information
About Sochi 2014 please visit www.sochi2014.com
About WSF Para-Snowboard
please visit www.worldsnowboardfederation.org
Marco Sampaoli, WSF Press and Media Operations on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39-340-3285569
Danny Buntain, WSF Para-Snowboard Chairperson on e-mail: email@example.com or call +44-787-9336623.