The Paralympic group is celebrating after it was introduced Wednesday that one other self-discipline of the roaring sport has been added to the 2026 Paralympics in Italy.

The Worldwide Paralympic Committee confirmed wheelchair blended doubles curling has been provisionally authorized as a further occasion on the 2026 Paralympic Winter Video games.

The announcement was made following official affirmation at a latest IPC board assembly.

Curling Canada’s nationwide wheelchair coach Mick Lizmore says this addition is a lift for the game. 

“That is actually excellent news for the game of wheelchair curling, and will definitely add motivation to Canadian athletes as we work in direction of the debut of blended doubles in 2026,” Lizmore mentioned.

“It is going to open extra eyes to the chances of getting concerned with wheelchair curling.”

Canada’s success at Paralympics

Canada has had nice success on the Paralympics within the blended group occasion, having gained three golds and a bronze medal because it was added to this system in 2006.

Now, Canadian curlers may have one other probability so as to add to the medal haul on the 2026 Paralympics.

“That is about increasing the winter sport program,” mentioned Martin Richard, govt director of communications for the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

“We solely have 5 sports activities within the Paralympics proper now so it is a nice alternative to indicate Canadians extra winter athletes.”

These 5 sports activities embrace nordic occasions, alpine snowboarding, snowboarding, para ice hockey and curling.

“I do know the Paralympics group as a complete is sort of excited. Our workers celebrated the information this morning. We knew this was coming however you simply by no means know,” Richard mentioned.

This now signifies that two curling occasions, blended group and blended doubles, are a part of the 2026 Paralympic winter program. 

Nevertheless, there might be adjustments to the variety of groups competing — the blended group occasion will go from 12 groups to 10 groups, that means there might be 10 much less athletes competing in that bonspiel. The blended doubles wheelchair occasion will function not more than eight groups — a rise of 16 athletes on the Video games.

Last affirmation by late 2022 or early 2023

A closing affirmation of all medal occasions and athlete quotas might be made by the Worldwide Paralympic Committee Governing Board in late 2022 or the primary quarter of 2023.

World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness says they’re completely delighted with the information, confirming that two wheelchair curling occasions might be included within the Paralympic program in 2026.

“We’re assured that this new self-discipline will speed up the visibility and progress of wheelchair curling within the coming years. This can be a basic step in showcasing our sport and making it extra accessible to everybody around the globe,” she mentioned.

The Canadian blended group is coming off a silver medal efficiency eventually yr’s world wheelchair curling championship.

The upcoming world championship, which will even function blended doubles wheelchair curling for the primary time, was scheduled for Lohja, Finland in January 2021. Nevertheless, the occasion has been cancelled and a brand new competitors date in late 2021 is being explored. 

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