Home Sports The adapted sail is left out of Los Angeles 2028

The adapted sail is left out of Los Angeles 2028

The adapted sail is left out of Los Angeles 2028

There was no green light. The adapted sail will have to wait another cycle to be able to be present at a Paralympic Games after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has not accepted the proposal of World Sailing (International Sailing Federation) for the sail to be present at the Los Angeles Paralympics 2028. The CPI Board of Directors approved 22 of the 33 sports proposals that were reviewed to be part of the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic poster, but sailing was not one of those chosen and was excluded.

After the Rio 2016 Games, sailing ceased to be a Paralympic sport and since then, both World Sailing and RFEV have worked to reverse this situation. Javier Sanz, head of national sailing, was saddened by the CPI’s decision, but found that The federation will maintain its support for adapted sailing athletes and will continue to promote their cups and championships in Spain, as well as supporting athletes who compete in international regattas. “The adapted wing puts everyone on an equal footing, from a high-level athlete to a person with a high degree of disability, and allows everyone who embarks to compete face to face”, explained Javier Sanz.

Gabriel Barroso, member of the RFEV adapted sailing committee and active sportsman in the RS Venture class, missed more understanding because “For the Paralympic Games to be truly inclusive, a sport like sailing cannot be missing, in which anyone, regardless of their condition, can participate”. After hearing the news that this sport was not included in the Los Angeles 2028 poster, Barroso made it clear that “we must continue fighting so that adapted sailing becomes Olympic once again.” There is some controversy in this CPI decision because of the 22 disciplines approved for Los Angeles 2028, only one is suitable for quadriplegics: “The great contribution of sailing to the Paralympic world is to help us have truly inclusive Games for all people.”, concluded Barroso.

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Currently, in Spain, there are more than 100 adapted sail licences, distributed among the Hansa 303, 2.4mR and RS Venture classes. This figure increases if we take into account that there is a much larger social mass that practices adaptive sailing in sailing schools and recreational yacht clubs. According to Barroso, The main value of this sport is that “people with and without disabilities can compete, all with the same rules, against each other, which sends a very powerful message of inclusion and equality.” The bell #BackTheBid (supports the motion, in Spanish) launched by World Sailing in the summer of 2021 continues to be very well received by the international sailing community and Paralympic and Olympian athletes and great ocean sailors have not hesitated to join it. Under this label, thousands of publications have been made every month to support the return of sailing to the Paralympic scene and to give visibility to a highly competitive and egalitarian sport.

According to World Sailing, currently, 41 countries from the five continents actively participate in adapted sailing, with more than 630 athletes registered in the international federation. In addition, from this entity they ensure that the infrastructure and resources necessary for adapted sailing will continue to be developed, working jointly with the national federations to provide new opportunities for athletes. The adapted wing has to continue waiting. It will not be in Los Angeles 2028, but the focus will be on being able to be back in Brisbane 2032.

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