What are the Winter Paralympics?
The Paralympic Winter Games are an international winter multi-sport event for disabled athletes. The Winter Paralympics take place every four years, following the Winter Olympics and hosted in the same cities.
When is the next Paralympic Winter Games?
The next Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Milano Cortina, Italy from the 6 – 15 March 2026.
What are the winter Para sports?
Para sport is a term that describes sport offered as part of the Paralympic Movement. There are 28 Para sports contested at the Paralympic Games. 6 of these are winter sports, and these are contested at the Paralympic Winter Games.
- Para alpine skiing
- Para snowboard
- Para Nordic
- Para ice hockey
- Wheelchair curling
As well as the 28 Paralympic sports, there are Para sports recognised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which are not currently contested at the Paralympic Games. These are Para sports whose international federations contribute to the development of sport opportunities for Para athletes and have organisational goals that are compatible with the Vision and Mission of the IPC. These include Para bobsleigh and Para skeleton (more on International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation).
New Zealand at the Winter Paralympics
Since the Geilo 1980 Paralympic Winter Games, New Zealand has won a total of 236 Paralympic medals including 35 at Paralympic Winter Games.
In Beijing 2022, New Zealand Paralympians won 4 medals, finishing 4th out of 46 nations for medals per capita, and 15th overall out of 46 nations for medals won.
The Winter Paralympics on TV
The Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was broadcast free-to-air for all New Zealanders on TVNZ DUKE. The broadcaster for the next Winter Paralympics has not yet been chosen.
Who can compete at the Paralympic Winter Games?
Para sport offers people with an eligible impairment, opportunities to be involved in a sporting pathway from grassroots through to elite Para sport, representing their country at the highest level, including the Paralympic Games.
To be eligible to participate in Para sport, athletes must have a health condition that presents itself as one of the 10 International Paralympic Committee eligible impairment types. The process of identifying eligibility through assessment of the impairment and resulting activity limitation is called Classification. All Para athletes must go through the Classification process to be allocated a competition class with others who have a similar activity limitation in their sport.
New Zealand has a very active and vibrant Para sport scene with a large variety of Para sports offered at various levels of competition across the country. To find out more about the Para sports on offer in your region, register your details now!