2024 Paralympics: IPC opt to retain Tokyo sports for Paris Games

Ukraine and Iran play in the gold medal match in Rio
Ukraine and Iran played in the CP football gold medal match at Rio 2016

The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games sports programme will stay the same as Tokyo 2020 with 22 sports included.

Cerebral Palsy football made the final consideration stage, but was omitted.

"The programme is extremely exciting," said International Paralympic Committee head Andrew Parsons.

"It features sports that have strong global appeal, support gender balance and offer athletes with a wide range of impairments opportunities to compete on the biggest stage of all."

The 22 sports that will be included in the programme are: athletics, archery, badminton, blind football, boccia, canoe, cycling, equestrian, goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

Badminton and taekwondo will make their debuts in Tokyo next year after canoe and triathlon made their first appearances in Rio in 2016.

How was the decision made?

The process to decide the Paris sports programme started in November 2017 with eight new sports and three sport disciplines applying for inclusion.

In January 2018, six of the applicants - CP football, golf, karate, Para dance sport, powerchair football and sailing - progressed to the next phase.

Between February and July 2018, the six new and 22 existing Paralympic sports completed and submitted a comprehensive application pack and had their applications assessed.

Last September, the IPC governing board announced that 23 sports would progress through to the final stage - the 22 included in Tokyo 2020 and CP football, which was part of the Rio programme.

Gender balance

Parsons explained that maintaining athlete numbers and keeping costs low were the concerns in making the final decision.

"The IPC reviewed 23 strong bids and all 23 sports were viable for inclusion in the Games, which underlines the growing strength of the Paralympic movement," he said.

"In deciding the final sports for inclusion, the board assessed all applications and committed to the Paralympic Movement's desire to pursue gender parity, safeguard the involvement of athletes with high support needs and ensure that a diverse range of nations could take part.

"Expanding the Games to 23 sports was not a viable option without growing athlete numbers beyond 4,350 or increasing costs.

"We explored every possible option to see how CP football could fit into the sport programme. Clearly, the sport's inclusion would have impacted the gender balance of the Games.

"The only way to compensate this would have been to remove male athlete slots from other sports - a move that would then have resulted in 23 sports and additional costs - or not include another predominantly male sport.

"This move would have reduced the number of high-support-needs athletes, a move that would have gone against our guiding principles.

"I know the CP football community will be disappointed at our decision, but if the sport continues to make progress and further develops the women's game, then it will be in a much stronger position for inclusion in future Games."

The Paris Games will take place from 28 August to 8 September.

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