It’s a ‘Blue Riband’ sport of the Winter Olympic Games – but ice skating has never been accepted into the Winter Paralympics – yet!
Surprisingly, of all the winter sports, ice skating does not feature in the prestigious Winter Paralympic Games. As a centrepiece arena in the Olympics, ice rinks and ice sports barely register in the Paralympics. There have been many valid reasons why this has happened, not least the difficulty of judging ice skating for athletes with any kind of disability, physical or mental challenge, using the traditional “relative” judging system (RJS).
However, with the introduction and development of the new International Judging System (IJS) by the International Skating Union (ISU), the door has been opened for a radically new way to approach the sport of ice skating for challenged athletes. The IJS, for the first time, allows athletes to be evaluated on an “absolute” mark, something which can then be realistically adjusted by an internationally agreed impairment compensation reflecting the athlete’s specific disability. This impairment compensation is based on an internationally accepted system known as the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, edited by Rondinelli and devised by the American Medical Association, that converts impairments to a % whole person impairment (WPI).
The Inclusive Skating competition system allows skaters with any form of impairment to compete fairly against each other through an impairment compensation that is added to the skating score.
The system has now been successfully tested at the first Competition in Impaired Skating held at Dumfries Ice Bowl in Scotland on May 12th and 13th 2012 and a Report on the event was sent to the ISU.
The second Event was successfully held in Dumfries Scotland in May 2013 and Iceland successfully hosted the third Inclusive Skating competition in May 2014. Here is the Announcement and Entry Form for the next Inclusive Skating Competition. The 2015 event will take place from April 10th to 12th 2015 at Breahead, Glasgow and will include the first NISA Inclusive Skating British Championships and the third Special Olympics GB National Competitions.
This website has been created in order to generate widespread awareness throughout the global ice skating community for this exciting project, and to provide a focal point for information exchange. The ultimate aim of the project is to secure ISU support, to apply for and achieve recognition by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for ice skating, in all its disciplines, as Winter Paralympic events. The target is now Pyeong Chang in 2018 and the dream would be the development of World Championships and Paralympic Events for all skaters!