Östersund has been named host of the 2020 World Para Biathlon Championships, the third elite-level winter sports competition awarded to Sweden in recent weeks and another demonstration of the Nordic nation’s status as a leading host of world-class events, less than one week before the IOC Session votes on the Stockholm Åre bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
In May, Åre and Östersund were confirmed as hosts of the World Para Snow Sports Championships in 2023, and Sweden will also host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in 2025.
Now Östersund is set to stage the 2020 World Para Biathlon Championships from 11-15 March, an event that will mark a key step in the development of Para Biathlon as revamped season structures create more competition opportunities for para athletes.
It will be the first time that the Para Biathlon and Para Cross-Country skiing have not been part of the same World Championships since 1990.
“The Östersund 2020 World Para Biathlon Championships represent an important milestone in the development of the sport,” explained Dimitrije Lazarovski, Head of World Para Snow Sports. “It is the result of some intense work from World Para Nordic Skiing, together with our Sport Technical Committee, athletes and membership. Östersund is the ideal host for the competition as it has a long history of hosting major Nordic skiing events.”
“Sweden is aiming to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2026, and we’re extremely happy that we are already able to welcome the world to our Winter Wonderland next year,” said Johan Strid, Secretary General of the Swedish Para Sport Federation and Swedish Paralympic Committee.
“We’re sure that the Östersund 2020 World Para Biathlon Championships will be an incredible event for the athletes, coaches and fans watching the action. Hosting this Championships in the Jämtland Region aligns with the Östersund’s ambition to be the centre for the evolution of the world’s Winter Para Sport – and we’re eager to continue that journey along with the rest of the Para Sport movement.”
The Östersund 2020 World Para Biathlon Championships will have no impact on the remaining competition season. Para Biathlon is already confirmed to be part of the programme at Lillehammer 2021 and the Åre-Östersund 2023 World Para Snow Sports Championships.