World Sailing has submitted an official application for the inclusion of sailing in the 2028 Paralympic Games set for Los Angeles.
Sailing was an official part of the Summer Paralympic Games from 2000 to 2016. However, no one competed for the event in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, and the event was denied a bid for reinstallation at the upcoming 2024 Paris Paralympics.
The International Paralympic Committee cited that sailing lacked a global reach with too few countries competing in the sport at this level.
World Sailing kicked off a campaign in October 2021, “#BacktheBid,” to gain the support of globally renowned sailors and social media. The hashtag took over social media, gaining traction from participants worldwide.
“Our global sailing family has spoken loud and clear, coming together to #BacktheBid – to see this sport, which offers so much to so many people, back in the Paralympics,” said David Graham, CEO of World Sailing, in a July 4 press release.
According to World Sailing, as of June 2022, there are 41 nations actively participating in Para Sailing, five world championship events in 2022, and 631 para sailors in the classification master list.
“Para Sailing is thriving despite what has been a challenging few years for global sports,” said Graham. “We now have Para Sailors active in 41 countries on five continents. Our dedicated Para Sailing Development Programme (PDP), created in 2017, has been key. We kicked off 2022 with our first PDP to be held in the Sultanate of Oman, and just one week ago, we held our first ever Para Kiteboarding PDP.”
World Sailing is continuing to move forward and looks to have 30 percent female participation by 2023 and an increase in youth participation to 20 percent of all athletes by the same year.
The International Paralympic Committee will make its final decision in January 2023.