The International Federation of Sports for Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities (Virtus) is taking a stand to ensure equal opportunities for all athletes, submitting an official bid to include Nordic and Alpine Skiing in the 2030 Winter Paralympic Games. This bid, submitted on February 13, 2024, marks a significant milestone in a 12-year effort to break down barriers for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
A 12-Year Journey Towards Inclusion
Despite previous commitments and progress, such as the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) pledge to promote inclusion and mandate greater representation in both the Summer and Winter Games, the participation of intellectually disabled athletes in the Winter Paralympics remains limited. Virtus, formerly known as INAS, has been championing this cause since 2012, advocating for the rights of skiers with intellectual disabilities and working tirelessly to make their dreams a reality.
The Power of Collaboration: Virtus, IPC, and FIS
As part of this ongoing effort, Virtus is now urging the IPC and International Ski Federation (FIS) to support their bid, recognizing the importance of expanding Paralympic opportunities for these athletes. By joining forces, these organizations have the potential to create lasting change and make the 2030 Winter Paralympic Games more inclusive than ever before.
Breaking Barriers and Empowering Athletes
The inclusion of Nordic and Alpine Skiing in the 2030 Winter Paralympic Games would not only provide a platform for exceptional athletes with intellectual disabilities to showcase their skills, but it would also send a powerful message about the importance of inclusivity and equality in sports. As Virtus continues to advocate for these athletes, their determination and resilience serve as an inspiration to us all.
In the words of Martin Schultz, CEO of Virtus, "Our athletes deserve the opportunity to compete on the world's largest stage, and we will not rest until they have the chance to shine." Together, Virtus, the IPC, and FIS are working to make this dream a reality for countless athletes with intellectual disabilities, proving that collaboration and determination can break down even the most formidable barriers.