31 January 2023
Australian Sailing has expressed its disappointment at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) decision not to include Para Sailing at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (USA) in 2028.
World Sailing submitted a compelling bid to have Para Sailing reinstated to the 2028 Games, after the 2015 announcement that it would be dropped from sports program for Tokyo 2020.
“We actively supported World Sailing’s bid and are incredibly disappointed in the decision made by the IPC regarding Para Sailing’s reinstatement,” said Australian Sailing’s CEO Ben Houston.
The 2028 Summer Paralympic Games – known as LA28 – will be staged in Los Angeles, California.
LA28 will be the first to be held in the United States since 1996 when Para Sailing made its debut at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
Para sailing was a successful Paralympic sport for five consecutive Games from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016.
“Our Paralympic sailors have won Gold for Australia and have been an inspiration to the nation,” continued Houston. “This decision will be a setback for the next generation of young Para Sailors in Australia who won’t have the chance to represent Australia at the Games.”
Australian Sailing respects the decision and the process undertaken by the IPC, and will remain committed to Diversity and Inclusion as one of the six Strategic Foundations of the SAILING 2032 Strategy.
“While this is a setback, we remain committed to seeing sailing reinstated for the Brisbane 2032 Paralympics,” finished Houston.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the voices calling for sailing’s reinstatement, sending a letter to the President of the International Paralympic Committee supporting the bid to reinstate sailing to future Paralympic programs.
World Sailing CEO, David Graham, said, “We fully respect the verdict of the IPC and recognise the difficulty the IPC Board faced throughout this process.
“However, we must also acknowledge that this is an extremely disappointing day for our whole sport and, particularly, Para Sailors around the world. Despite this setback, our commitment to our Para Sailors, to the continued growth of Para Sailing, and to the wider para sport movement will only grow stronger.
“We know a life on water unlocks so many opportunities for disabled people, we know how inclusive Para Sailing is, and we are determined that Para Sailing will continue to go from strength to strength.”