The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is asking sailors across the world to unite on behalf of all disabled sailors.
The recent decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) not to include sailing on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme shocked the international sailing community.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF), and its 139 Member National Authorities (MNAs), yesterday pledged to work together to fight for sailing to be reinstated at the Paralympic Games.
Letters of support should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be sent to the IPC with a complete package of information about Paralympic sailing.
PBO’s previous news coverage:
- Paralympic sailing dropped from 2020 Games
- Call grows for sailing to be reinstated at 2020 Paralympic Games
- ISAF speaks out about Paralympic sailing 2020 decision
Sailing offers disabled people unique opportunities to participate in sport with an increasing number of countries devising specific disabled sailing programmes.
The Paralympic Games is the ultimate pinnacle for disabled sailors with many varied disabilities competing on equal terms.
On hearing the decision of the IPC, three time Paralympian (2.4mR) and gold medallist at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Bjornar Erikstad said: ‘For the Paralympic Games, sailing should be there. In sailing you can be young, old, female, male and be on an equal playing field.
‘It’s about understanding the environment and what’s around you that makes it unique. It has physical challenges and you have to be physically and mentally prepared.’
In 2008, American sailor Nick Scandone was battling ALS (commonly known as Lou Gerig’s Disease). Before being diagnosed Scandone was a top 470 sailor and made the switch to Paralympic sailing.
In the lead up to the 2008 Paralympic Games his condition deteriorated but his quest to sail kept him pushing hard. With crew Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, Scandone went on to win the Gold Medal, an extraordinary accomplishment.
Sadly Scandone passed away a few months later. His heroic feat drew huge attention to people with the disease.
In November 2014, the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) merged with ISAF, now operating within the committee structure as the Disabled Sailing Committee.
ISAF says it is making every effort to understand the decision of the IPC and work towards reinstating sailing to the Paralympic Games.