Para bobsleigh gains Paralympic inclusion | ParkRecord.com

Para bobsleigh gains Paralympic inclusion

Submitted by Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation

On Sept. 5, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the provisional inclusion of Bobsleigh in the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Pleased by the recent announcement, the Utah Olympic Park looks forward to supporting the remaining efforts of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), athletes and coaches in seeing the inclusion of this sport into the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

For over 10 years, local athletes and the Utah Olympic Park have been at the forefront of developing Para Bobsleigh and Skeleton disciplines into internationally recognized sports with the ultimate goal of inclusion in the Paralympic Winter Games. The Utah Olympic Park hosted both the very first Para World Cup and the first Para World Championship. Prior to formal competition, the venue was also the location of the first para descent on a sliding track.

According to the IBSF, the IPC provisionally includes bobsleigh in 2022 Paralympic program under the condition that it meets the following minimum requirements in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons:

1) A minimum of six World Cup races plus one World Championships held per season
2) A minimum of twelve (12) nations from three regions participating each season

The Utah Olympic Park demonstrates its dedication to ongoing efforts, hosting the IBSF Para Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup this season from Nov. 15 to 19. The Olympic Park and surrounding community encourage visitors and locals alike to join in the efforts to come out and support the final requirements in seeing this sport achieve the Paralympic stage in 2022.

"From a venue standpoint, Utah Olympic Park was the birthplace of these sports," said John Rosen, the chairman of the IBSF Para-sport Committee. "The first para descent occurred here, the first Para World Cup occurred here and the first Para World Championship occurred here. Today, there is no track organization in the world that provides the quality or level of support to these para athletes to match that of the Utah Olympic Park."

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In addition to hosting competitions, the Utah Olympic Park offers a fully integrated program within its existing G-Force Bobsled & Skeleton program. The Olympic Park is working closely with its partners at the IBSF and USA Bobsled and Skeleton to create and implement a new monobob program for existing and new Paralympic athletes this season. In the meantime, the Olympic Park encourages new athletes to contact G-Force program manager Valerie Fleming at 435-658-4252 to get involved and begin their journey towards the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

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