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Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic medal programme and athlete quotas confirmed

31 Jul 2023

Milano Cortina 2026 will showcase 79 Paralympic medal events across six winter sports

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has finalised the medal event programme and athlete quotas for the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games. 

Milano Cortina 2026 will showcase 79 Paralympic medal events across six winter sports, with one new medal event – wheelchair curling mixed doubles – featuring for the first time at a Paralympic Winter Games.

There will be 39 medal events for men, 35 for women, and five mixed events.  Para alpine skiing, Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiing will offer gender parity in terms of the number of medal events.

In total there are 665 athlete quota places (323 for men, 176 for women, and 166 gender-free) for the Games, which is 20 per cent higher than the 558 final entry numbers for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

Should all quota places be fulfilled by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) then Milano Cortina 2026 will be the biggest Paralympic Winter Games to date in terms of athlete participation. PyeongChang 2018 currently holds the record with 564 athletes taking part. If all 176 quota places for women are taken, then it will represent a 29 per cent increase on the record 136 female athletes that participated at Beijing 2022.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “With just under three years to go until the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Winter Games, I am really pleased that we can confirm the medal events programme and athlete quotas.

“The addition of a second wheelchair curling event adds a new dimension to the ice sports at the Games, while I hope that NPCs and International Federations use the time remaining between now and 2026 to further develop female talent in order to fulfil the number of slots available to them.”

Jitske Visser, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council, said: “It is always a special moment for an athlete when the medal event programme is announced and winter sport athletes around the world can now step up their preparations for the Games.

“Of course, I would like to see a greater number of athlete slots for females at the Games, but to achieve this for future editions we need to see an increase in the talent pool globally and a greater depth of competition.”

Detailed medals events programme and athlete quotas

Para alpine skiing
The medal events programme is unchanged from Beijing 2022. There will be 30 medal events (15 male, 15 female). There will be 130 slots for men and 60 for women.

Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiing
There will be 18 Para biathlon (9 male, 9 female) and 20 Para cross-country skiing medal events (9 male, 9 female and 2 gender-free) in 2026.  In total there will be 180 athlete quota spots, split 110 for men and 70 for women.

Para ice hockey
The Para ice hockey competition is an open team tournament with eight female slots and 136 gender-free athlete slots. There is one medal event, with the USA aiming to win a fifth successive Paralympic title.

Para snowboard
Snowboard will feature eight medal events (6 male, 2 female), and there will be 85 athlete quota spots (65 for men, 20 for women). A decision will be taken at a later date whether four of the eight medal events will be banked slalom or dual banked.

Wheelchair curling
For the first time in Paralympic Winter Games history, wheelchair curling will feature two medal events – the mixed team tournament and the mixed doubles tournament. There will be 66 athlete quota spots (18 male, 18 female and 30 gender-free).

The medal events programme and athlete quotas for the Milano Cortina 2026 Paralympic Games can be found here.

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