Paralympic Sailing seeks equal treatment from Rio Games organizers

Published on December 24th, 2014

The International Sailing Regatta 2014, the largest sailing event ever held in Brazil, offered the first test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games. All ten Olympic events were included, with 324 sailors from 34 countries participating.

Alastair Fox, Head of Competitions for ISAF, remarked how the week-long competition had proven to be a success. “We have completed many of our goals in testing the competition areas, building our understanding of the local conditions and getting to know the national officials and the Rio 2016 team. We have a lot of information to take away and evaluate.”

What is not getting evaluated, however, is what is needed for the Paralympic Games, which will be held in Rio a month after the 2016 Olympic Games.

“The Rio organizing committee has not committed to running the scheduled 2015 Test Event for Paralympic Sailing,” notes ISAF Disabled Sailing Committee Chairman John Twomey. “An Olympic Test Event was held in August 2014 for all 10 Olympic Classes and a further test event for all Olympic Classes is scheduled for mid-August 2015. Unfortunately IFDS (International Association for Disabled Sailing) have not been able to obtain a date or commitment from Rio to run a Test Event for the three Paralympic Classes in 2015.

“It is unfortunate that Paralympic Sailing is not being treated with equal importance as Olympic Sailing by the Rio Organizing Committee; hopefully the eventual legacy of the Rio Paralympics will be equality of treatment for disabled sport in Brazil. The Disabled Sailing Committee, IFDS are continuing to work towards finding an opportunity to hold an event for the Paralympic Classes in Brazil.”

Source: IFDS Bulletin, December 2014

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