The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have approved two brand new events and four new mixed gender events to the Beijing 2022 programme. 

The Olympic Executive Board has added several on snow events such as Ski Big air, Mixed Gender Team Aerials and a Snowboard Cross Mixed Team event. There were also three other non-snow events announced in preparation for the next Winter Games.  

Unfortunately for Telemark their bid to be a part of the next Winter Games fell short and won’t feature in Beijing. Despite recent media coverage and support for the event the IOC has decided the sport lacks the profile to feature on the Olympic stage. 

The world governing body of Telemark, FIS Telemark, released a statement on the decision: “We are naturally disappointed by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to not include Telemark in the forthcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Telemark is the world’s oldest winter sports discipline and remains as relevant today as it did when it was first conceived in Norway, 150 years ago. 

“We are however confident the FIS Telemark World Cup will continue to thrive into the future as we see a steady increase in the number of athletes competing and interest from media, sponsors and audiences across the world.” 

Britain’s very own World Cup Telemark ski racer, Jasmin Taylor, also echoed her disappointment on Twitter: “Telemark did not make Olympic inclusion. I am gutted but proud and forever thankful to how this sport has shaped my life. At least we tried – here’s to another season racing World Cup. Thank you to everyone along the way, the job is not done yet.” 

The Olympic movement has been striving to make the games more appealing to younger audiences as well as aiming to get an even split of events between each gender. The addition of the new events mean that the female quota has gone from 41 per cent to 45.44 per cent of the events at the Winter Olympics.

Sports Director of the IOC, Kit McConnell, explained the reason behind the new additions: “The addition of these new events for Beijing 2022 reflect our continued commitment to make the Olympic Games programmes more youthful and gender balanced. I am very pleased to see the increase of female athletes, especially in such exciting, ground-braking events. At the same time, we are sending a message that the size of the Olympic Winter Games is being directly addressed.” 

Katie Summerhayes Interview

 

The news of the addition of Ski Big Air is great news for British snow sports. James Woods grabbed a bronze in Big Air at the 2018 Winter X Games and Olympic Slopestyle Bronze medallist while Izzy Atkins, Katie Summerhayes and Madi Rowlands have all achieved top 10 on the World Cup in this event. There will be no doubt that the British Park and Pipe team will be targeting a medal in Ski Big Air when it comes to the Beijing Games. 

For Telemark, the sport will be hopeful it can be finally included in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. A decision on who will host these games will be made in September 2019, with Calgary, Cortina, Sapporo, Stockholm and Erzurum all in the running. 

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