We’re just a few weeks into 2018 and it’s already looking to be a huge year in adaptive sports! The biggest event early this year will be the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games running from March 9th to the 18th. We’ll be previewing that in full detail shortly, but for now take a look at some upcoming local and international events coming up!
December-February – First up is the already-underway Para Alpine Skiing World Cup. This is a seven part series leading to the finals in Canada from February 7-11. It also acts as a final tune-up for the PyeongChang Winter Games. So far, we’ve seen events held in Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia with the series returning to Switzerland on January 15th. The biggest storyline so far is Marie Bochet. She was a four-time gold medalist at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics and has continued her dominance as she is currently leading in five of the six Para Alpine categories.
January 14, February 17 – Two paratriathlon events will take place in Australia this winter. The first is the St. Kilda OTU Paratriathlon Oceania Championships on Jan. 14 and the Devonport ITU Paratriathlon World Cup on Feb. 17. Some of the big names to look for are Jetze Plat of Netherlands who is the Rio 2016 triathlon gold medalist and the defending world champion. Grace Norman of the US and Australia’s Katie Kelly and her guide Michellie Jones were also Rio gold medal winners and all three are back-to-back world champions!
January 21-28 – The 2nd Para Central American Games will take place in Managua, Nicaragua from January 21-28. Around 250 athletes from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras and Panama will compete across six sports: athletics, boccia, goalball, powerlifting, swimming and wheelchair basketball. This is an important event for the region, providing the athletes a chance to compete on an international level and prepare for the next Para Pan-Am games and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. One athlete everyone will be watching is hometown favorite, Nicaragua’s own Gabriel Cuadra Holmann. The two-time athletics Paralympian will look to replicate his stellar performances from the first Para Central American Games where he took home gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m races!
January 24-27 – The first wheelchair tennis Grand Slam of the year is the Australian Open which takes place in Melbourne between January 24-27. The top 20 women’s and men’s players will be there with Argentina’s world ranked #1 man Gustavo Fernandez and Japan’s #1 ranked woman Yui Kamiji both looking to repeat as champs. In the quad division, Dylan Alcott of Australia is out to claim his fourth consecutive title on home soil!
February 15-18 – Wheelchair fencing kicks off a year long series of World Cup competitions in Eger, Hungary, Feb. 15-18. Italy’s Beatrice Vio is the woman to beat this year. She amazingly has not lost a competition since the World Cup final in 2016! A medal-filled 2017 ended perfectly with a win on her home turf in Rome at the World Championships in November. Vio is surrounded by a strong Italian squad which won three golds and one silver throughout the year.
January 20 – Northeast Passage is hosting a free introductory sled hockey clinic on Saturday, January 20 from 9 – 11 am in Concord NH. This is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with this fun, action-packed sport! Northeast Passage has a strong background in sled hockey as they run a youth program for kids ages 5-18 and a senior team which competes in the Northeast Sled Hockey League.
January 26-29 – Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation is putting on a free, four-day sports retreat for disabled veterans at Sunday River Resort from January 26-29! They’ll dive into some indoor and outdoor winter sports like wheelchair basketball and alpine skiing!
March 18 – Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA will host dozens of adaptive athletes for STRIDE Adaptive Sports‘ The Great Race on March 18th! Adaptive skiers of any age, skill level or disability will shoot for their best two timed runs through a giant slalom course. There are categories for visual impairments, mental disabilities, and physical disabilities and it will surely be a fun day of competition!
And last but not least is an event Athletes Roll will be participating in! We will be speaking about our journey in adaptive sports and the resources for adaptive sports and recreation in the Connecticutt area at the Jett Foundation Hartford Family Workshop on January 20th! Jett Foundation focuses on education and awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They are bringing together some of the brightest minds in research and clinical care for their 2018 Family Workshops and we are happy to help! If you are affected by Duchenne in any way and want to learn more, head to their website and sign up for a Family Workshop! Hope to see you there!
As per usual, there are so many awesome adaptive sports events going on all the time. We picked a few of our favorites coming up but would love to add any events you all hear about to the list! Or maybe we’ll do a whole new post about it! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on our contact page to let us know!