IPC President Andrew Parsons said he hoped COVID-19 would not affect Paris 2024 preparations ©Getty Images

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons says he hopes the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is now over heading into 2023, as the Para sport boss sets his sights on qualification events for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

In his New Year letter, Parsons also addressed the difficulties the pandemic has had on disabled sport, as well as the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

He also praised the work of the IPC during what he called "arguably the most difficult period in modern history", thanking all in the community who have contributed to sport's success.

"Without a doubt the last two years were arguably the most demanding in the history of the IPC," said Parsons.

"During this period, we did not just survive but we thrived.

"To stage the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Paralympics within six months of each other took a herculean effort from everyone involved, but the effort was well worth it.

IPC President Andrew Parsons spoke about the difficulties of the last two Paralympics due to COVID-19 ©Getty Images
IPC President Andrew Parsons spoke about the difficulties of the last two Paralympics due to COVID-19 ©Getty Images

"The Tokyo 2020 Games were a great success, while Beijing 2022 witnessed incredible sport with young athletes showing the future of Paralympic winter sport is bright.

"With regards to COVID-19, I am hopeful that we are through the worst and that the sport calendar ahead of us will be uninterrupted, especially with many qualification events for Paris 2024 soon to get underway.

"For the IPC and the Paralympic Movement to flourish during arguably the most difficult period in modern history has been truly phenomenal."

Parsons added that he hoped "no more innocent lives are lost or impacted" in the invasion of Ukraine by Russia too, a situation that continues to affect the National Paralympic Committees of Russia and Belarus, who are suspended by the IPC for their nations' involvement in the war.

The International Ski and Snowboard Federation was mentioned for taking over control of Para Snow Sports as of this year, and elsewhere in governance, the IPC is set to publish a new four-year strategic plan this year.

Reviews of the IPC Classification Code and another phase of governance reforms are to be assessed this year too, with the latter due to be voted upon at the IPC General Assembly.