ISA welcome Los Angeles 2028 proposal to consider Para Surfing for Paralympic Games

January 30th, 2023

California, United States – 30 January 2023

The International Surfing Association (ISA) today welcomed the proposal by the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee (LA28) to consider Para Surfing for Paralympic Games inclusion.

In particular, the ISA was pleased to note that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board confirmed that Para Surfing has demonstrated the competitive viability and integrity of the sport, as well as the strategic benefits to the Paralympic Games.

LA28 will lead a process of evaluation of the impact of including Para Surfing to the program and alignment with the LA28 vision for the Games. The process is expected to conclude and the final programme confirmed before the end of this year.

Jimena Ruiz from Costa Rica at the latest ISA World Para Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The ISA believes Para Surfing is the perfect fit Los Angeles – an area with a strong tradition of supporting the sport and the high-performance athletes that excel in the Para Surfing discipline.

In December 2022, Pismo Beach in California hosted the latest edition of the annual ISA World Para Surfing Championship – a record-breaking event for the ISA in terms of participation with more than 180 athletes from 28 nations taking to the waves.

Para Surfing’s priority mission to be included at the LA 2028 Paralympic Games follows confirmation last year that Shortboard Surfing will be part of the Initial Sport Program at the LA Olympic Games. Shortboard Surfing was first added to the Olympic sports programme for Tokyo 2020 and will again feature at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, reinforcing the sport’s long-term goal to be part of the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“With Surfing as the official sport of the state of California and the strong surf culture, appeal, and infrastructure in LA 2028, Para Surfing can offer amazing value and energy to Paralympic programme. We will continue to make a compelling case for Paralympic inclusion to the LA 2028 organisers, and we hope to be successful when the decision is made later this year.

“Shortboard Surfing brought excitement, youth, and a wave of beautiful energy following its introduction in Tokyo. Para Surfing has the potential to have the same positive, lasting impact on the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Movement. With a powerful connection to the environment and sustainability, our sport resonates with the next generation.

“The ISA’s mission is to create “A Better World Through Surfing” and Para Surfing is a direct embodiment of this mission. We have developed a platform for the world’s best Para Surfing athletes to compete at the highest level, become world champions, and inspire future generations as to what is possible in the ocean.

“This has opened up unlimited opportunities for universal access to the sport and to spread Surfing’s therapeutic and life-changing benefits with the world. Para Surfing’s inclusion on the Paralympic programme, the pinnacle of Para Sport competition, will only increase the reach and wave of amazing impact that our sport is enjoying around the world. It would be totally awesome to see these world-class, high-performance athletes excel on the greatest Paralympic stage at LA 2028.”


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