IBSF Accepts Proposal for Para Bobsleigh Inclusion in 2021 World Championships
Monday was a great day for Para Bobsleigh and Team USA as the IBSF Executive Committee accepted a proposal by USA Bobsled Skeleton and the Olympic Regional Development Authority to include the Para Bobsleigh World Championships into the IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Championships in Lake Placid in 2021. The Para Bobsleigh World Championship training and races will be contested first and will kick off 12 days of sliding by the world’s best athletes.
Para bobsleigh has been contested internationally since 2015 and athletes compete on an IBSF World Cup schedule and in a yearly World Championship. Team USA athletes also compete in the American Para Cup race series. IBSF accepted the proposal for inclusion in the 2021 World Championships based on the commitment demonstrated by USABS and the Organizing Committee, as well as a letter signed by Para athletes from around the world.
Para athletes have disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, above knee amputations, double below knee amputations, and other disabilities that compromise the athlete’s ability to push their sled. Athletes pilot monobobs and are started by a mechanical launcher that is calibrated to provide a consistent start time for every sled.
2021 will mark the first time the Para races have been run at the same time as the able-bodied championships. By submitting this proposal to IBSF, USA Bobsled Skeleton and the Olympic Regional Development Authority have supported the growth of Para Bobsleigh as the sport moves toward inclusion in the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Cortina.
The International Paralympic Committee will vote on Para Bobsleigh’s 2026 inclusion later this summer.