Maintain the Urgency: Reinstating Paralympic Sailing in Tokyo 2020

(US Sailing Team Sperry paralympic athletes compete at the Disabled Sailing World Championships. Photo: Will Ricketson/US Sailing)

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself.

As the MNA of a leading Paralympic sailing nation, US Sailing serves a supporting role to ISAF along with our fellow MNAs who integrate Paralympic sailing into the national sailing team effort. In this role we are advising ISAF on the IPC appeal, providing data about Paralympic sailing participation, and communicating with the many leaders in the disabled-sailing community. One thing is clear at this stage of the game—we must maintain urgency in the effort to submit a positive, forward-looking, and winning appeal to the IPC.

You can help, too. Right now ISAF is gathering data and letters of support from MNAs. They also have made it clear that individual letters of support from the broad sailing community will make a difference in the appeal. If you’d like to voice your support for Paralympic sailing’s reinstatement in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, we encourage you to speak up and have provided some tools to help:

  1. Send letter of support as an email to disabled@isaf.org
  2. Address your letter of support to ISAF President Carlo Croce
  3. Feel welcome to copy and paste the form letter at ussailing.org (see below)
  4. Personalize the letter and describe what Paralympic sailing means to you
  5. Disabled sailing organizations, foundations, etc are encouraged to write letter of support on official letterhead

There is a proven track record of sports winning reinstatement after initially being dropped from Olympic and Paralympic competition. Paralympic sailing deserves to play the game in Tokyo, and you can make a difference in ISAF’s appeal to the IPC.

– Josh Adams
Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing


Here is the form letter you can use to show your support. Send your message to disabled@isaf.org

Dear Mr. Croce:

I am writing in favor of the reinstatement of Paralympic sailing in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. My voice represents the opinion of sailors across my community—you have my full support as ISAF leads an appeal to the International Paralympic Committee. 

Disabled sailing plays a prominent role in sailing worldwide, with highly active participation in sailing nations on four continents. Sailors with wide-ranging disabilities are able to compete on a level playing field, which is truly representative of the spirit of the Paralympic movement. In the sport of sailing, disabled and able-bodied sailors can compete on the same field of play. Here in the United States, Paralympic athletes are fully integrated into our national sailing team, the US Sailing Team Sperry.

I support all of ISAF’s efforts to put sailing back on the slate of sports in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. 


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