Seven new disciplines at 2022 Winter Games to boost women's participation: IOC

Ruben Hill
July 20, 2018

The additions bring the Winter Olympic total number of events to 109, an all-time high and almost double the amount of events at the 1992 Winter Games. The addition of gold medals to a 109-event program was combined with a reduction in how many athletes will compete.

Women's ice hockey becomes a 10-team lineup instead of eight, adding 46 athletes. The International Olympic Committee said athlete quotas will decrease in some sports, but no events have been contracted.

The IOC had a "long discussion" about adding a women's event in Nordic combined, the only sport without a women's event in the Winter Games, IOC sports director Kit McConnell said.

"Tokyo 2020 put forward a competition schedule that focuses on athlete and spectator experience, as well as gender equality", said IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates. Beijing will also represent the highest number of women at an Olympic Winter Games and the highest number of events.

The disciplines of skeleton, speed skating, Alpine skiing, cross country, freestyle and snowboard will all move to gender balance for the first time. "We feel with Beijing we're getting closer to that".

The changes were also made within the goal of maintaining total athlete counts as outlined in the Olympic Charter and goals set in Olympic Agenda 2020 to reduce the overall size of the games.

In an attempt to cut organizing costs, amid recent failures of potential bidders in Europe for the 2026 Winter Games, there should be no additional venues required and 41 fewer athletes in Beijing than the 2,933 competitors at the Pyeongchang Olympics last February.

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Following the announcement of the principles [that can be found here], WSF and PSA reiterated squash's readiness to bid and to demonstrate why the sport will be a great strategic choice for inclusion in the Olympic programme.

McConnell noted that monobob and big air skiing are events that could appeal to younger audiences.

Monobob, in which one athlete takes part, joins the Olympic program following a successful run at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. The Games have two-man and two-woman events and a four-man event. In 2014, mixed relays in biathlon and luge debuted, as well as the figure skating team event.

The mixed short track event will be a relay, similar to the existing men's and women's relays.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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