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World Sailing's CEO confirms continuous commitment to Para Sailing

by World Sailing 22 Nov 15:22 GMT
World Sailing's CEO confirms continuous commitment to Para Sailing © World Sailing

World Sailing CEO, David Graham, has addressed the global sailing community at the Yacht Racing Forum in St Julian's, Malta, thanking them for their support of the Federation's #BacktheBid campaign to see sailing reinstated in the Paralympic Games.

Speaking to over 250 delegates, Graham spoke passionately about Para Sailing athletes and the events he has visited over the past 18 months since announcing the reinstatement bid in the summer of 2021.

"Nothing has inspired me this year like the sight of our sport uniting behind our efforts to get sailing back into the Paralympics for LA28," said Graham.

"From every corner of sailing, our community has been absolutely spectacular in adding their voices to the chorus of support for our Back the Bid campaign. It has been a truly global movement and it has been heard loud and clear by the International Paralympic Committee."

In July 2021, World Sailing announced its plans to see sailing reinstated in the Paralympic Games, after it was removed following Rio 2016. After an unsuccessful bid for Paris 2024, the next opportunity for the sport to get back in the Games will be Los Angeles in 2028.

There are 23 sports bidding to be included in the roster for the LA28 Games, and no sport has ever successfully regained their place in the Paralympics having been removed. The International Paralympic Committee is due to announce its decision in early 2023.

"Whatever the decision we will continue to support Para Sailing because it is an integral part of our sport," Graham added.

"We won't define success by our presence in LA alone but by the numbers of disabled people who have access to and enjoy our sport, and those numbers are headed in the right direction.

"I hear from disabled sailors all around the world that sailing gives them the chance to experience a freedom on water which is denied to them on land and we will not relax our efforts until sailing is back in the Paralympics."

If World Sailing's bid for reinstatement is successful, athletes from over 46 countries on six continents will be representing their nations at one of the world's biggest sporting events.

The Yacht Race Forum is an annual event, bringing together delegates from across the industry - sailors to sponsors, designers to events - to hear about latest developments and trends, and have the opportunity to network together.

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