La Jolla Shores is preparing to host over 75 physically impaired top athletes for the 2017 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship from Thursday through Sunday.
Among the athletes competing are Dani Burt, the current U.S. champion who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident; Marcus Chischilly, who lost a leg in an IED explosion in Iraq; Scott Leason, who is blind; and Alana Nichols, who was paralyzed in a snowboarding accident yet has gone on to win gold medals in alpine skiing and wheelchair basketball.
Presented by Vissla clothing and the City of San Diego, the event will feature women’s divisions for the first time, highlighting the International Surfing Association’s dedication to promoting gender equality in all types of surfing.
The event previously featured mixed gender divisions but will now adapt to accommodate the increase in women adaptive surfers worldwide. Of the six divisions which classify surfers based on their type of physical impairment, five will feature enough female participation to merit a separate division, which will ultimately crown the first-ever Women’s Adaptive Surfing World Champions.
In 2016, the event featured seven women from five countries across three divisions. The inclusion of separate women’s divisions has played a key role in more than doubling women’s participation in the 2017 edition.
“The ISA is proud to be actively promoting and developing women’s surfing around the globe. Creating an opportunity for women in the Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship is just another step in working towards complete gender equality, which is the ultimate goal,” ISA President, Fernando Aguerre said.
“The growth of adaptive surfing in just the last few years has been incredible to see, and under ISA leadership we are intent on taking the sport to where it belongs in the 2024 Paralympic Games,” he added.
The event at La Jolla Shores is free and open to the public.
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