Although there is only a slim chance that adaptive snowboarding will be included in the next Paralympics, progress is being made internationally to sanction world class events for snowboarders with disabilities. The U.S.A. Snowboard Association started the ball rolling several years ago by holding a full range of events for adaptive snowboarders, while a variety of mostly grassroots events have taken place around the world for a growing field of riders.
The next big step will take place in Whistler on Mar. 14, as the Canadian Snowboard Federation and World Snowboard Federation host the first Adaptive Snowboard World Cup. The race will take place on the snowboardcross course, but instead of racing each other participants will race against the clock. The lowest time after two runs will win.
Athletes are expected to take part from across Canada, the U.S., Europe and New Zealand.
Whistler’s Tyler Mosher, who helped lead the effort to include adaptive snowboarding in future Paralympics, will be attending the race.
Unlike most World Cup events, the Whistler event will focus on being inclusive by allowing riders as young as 13 to race, and holding an open registration.
As well as the World Cup races, Whistler will host an international summit on the sport by the Canadian Adaptive Snowboard Program to discuss the further expansion of a global World Cup program.