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Mixed gender events and Ski Big Air coming to Beijing 2022

19 July 2018

BEIJING 2022: Youth appeal and gender equality are the key themes around the seven new exciting events the IOC have added to the Olympic programme for Beijing 2022.

The programme features the addition of new events with women’s monobob and men’s and women’s freestyle ski big air, as well as the addition of mixed team events in short track speed skating, ski jumping, aerial skiing and snowboard cross.

The new event programme will see more female athletes than any other Winter Olympic Games, with the female quota positions increasing from 41% to 45.44%.

“The addition of these new events for Beijing 2022 reflects our continued commitment to make the Olympic Games programmes more youthful and gender balanced,” the IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell said in today’s announcement.

“I am very pleased to see the increase of female athletes, especially in such exciting, ground-breaking events.”

Ski Big Air

CEO of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA), Geoff Lipshit, said today’s announcement offers a number of exciting opportunities for Australia’s Winter Olympic future.

“This presents a really good opportunity for us, especially with the addition of ski big air and the mixed snowboard cross team event,” Lipshut said.

“We have just started a new Park and Pipe Program at Perisher and Jindabyne which is a three way partnership between the OWIA, NSW Institute of Sport, and Ski and Snowboard Australia. This is the first dedicated Park and Pipe program in Australia which will develop freestyle skiing and snowboard athletes in the disciplines of slopestyle, halfpipe and big air over the next four years leading into 2022.

“At PyeongChang 2018 we saw a 17-year-old American snowboarder win gold in the slopestyle, and two 16-year-old New Zealand medallists in snowboard halfpipe and big air. So, if we learnt anything from this year’s Games it’s that we need to be looking at the really young guys because that’s where the money is.

“We’re bringing in young athletes around the ages of 14 and 15 for this new program, so there is a lot of good opportunity there for future Games.”

With a large Australian men’s contingent already established in snowboard cross, and more women coming up through the ranks, Lipshut thinks Australia could be in with a real chance in the mixed snowboard cross relay.

“We already have a lot of strong talent in snowboard cross, it would be a great opportunity if Belle Brockhoff teamed with Jarryd Hughes, Chumpy Pullin or Adam Lambert, for example."

Dual Snowboard Cross Olympian Brockhoff is excited about the new event in her discipline, as it means another shot at the podium.

“I’m very excited for the mixed gender event, for us especially since we only get one chance at a medal,” Brockhoff said.

“Our sport has a lot of variables in it, you could be the favourite and taken out by another rider. Another event gives us the chance to reach our full potential.”

The 25-year-old said the mixed relay will be a challenge but she’s looking forward to joining forces with her teammates, which has “become one of the strongest teams on the world tour.”

“I’ve never competed in a mixed gender team event since we haven’t even had them on tour yet. It will add a new skill to the table as we will have to figure out who drops first, whose riding is best suited for that particular course, and so much more.”

In addition to the new events, the IOC has also reduced the overall athlete quota by 41 to reach 2,892, which is within the Olympic Charter framework

The 2022 programme will now have 109 gold medals up for grabs.

Georgia Thompson

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