Last month the IPC confirmed that the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition will receive an additional event, the two-person keelboat, which added to the existing single-person keelboat and three-person keelboat events, means there will be three sailing events in Beijing in three years time.
The 13th Paralympic Games will be held from Saturday 6 September 2008 until Wednesday 17 September 2008. These twelve days of Paralympic celebration will give the host nation an opportunity to try to finish first again, after China topped the medals table at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, with a total of 141 medals. It will also give the Chinese population the chance to get more acquainted with the Paralympic Games and the top Paralympic athletes. In 2004 Israel triumphed in the three-person keelboat event whilst Damien SEGUIN (FRA) won the gold medal in the single-person keelboat.
There will be a total of 20 sports at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, up from 19 in Athens, thanks to the addition of rowing as a Paralympic sport. This means that the list of Paralympic sports for Beijing 2008 now reads: archery, athletics, boccia, wheelchair basketball, cycling, equestrian, wheelchair fencing, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, weightlifting, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis and rowing. Sailing has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1996 when it was introduced as a demonstration sport leading to it's acceptance as a full medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Since the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988, and the Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, in 1992, the Paralympic Games have always been held in the same cities as the Olympic Games. This was formalized in an agreement between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the IPC, which was signed on 19 June 2001 with a view to securing the organization of the Paralympic Games. This means that, from 2008 onwards, the Paralympic Games will take place shortly after the Olympic Games, using the same sporting venues and facilities.