Women’s Ski Jump is One of Six Sports Instated in Sochi ’14

April 7, 2011

An announcement made yesterday, April 6, by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed the inclusion of six new events on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014.

The events that have gained instatement into the quadrennial event are ski half-pipe (men and women), women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay.

A report presented by the Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) to the IOC Executive Board (EB) in Acapulco in October last year, provoked the decision to include the new events. The OPC studied the proposal of the individual International Sports Federations and, at the request of the EB, compiled a detailed analysis of all candidate events at their respective world championships this winter.

The key positive factors as to whether the events inclusion would add value to the games included whether the changes would increase universality, gender equity and youth appeal. Other considerations included the cost of infrastructure, and the impact on the overall quota and the number of events.

IOC President Jacques Rogge stated: “The inclusion of these events on the Olympic Winter Games programme is sure to be appreciated by athletes and sports fans alike. These are exciting, entertaining events that perfectly complement the existing events on the sports programme, bring added appeal and increase the number of women participating at the Games. I look forward to watching the athletes compete in these events in Sochi 2014.”

The news, unveiled at a media briefing during the SportAccord Convention in London, was welcomed particularly by the women ski jumpers who have fought a long-running battle for inclusion alongside their male counterparts. Women’s ski jumping was not included in the programme for last year’s Vancouver Games and the lead-up to the event saw athletes unsuccessfully sue organisers on the grounds of alleged gender discrimination.

2009 ski jumping world champion Lindsey Van told Reuters: “I am thrilled the IOC decided to add our sport. Women’s ski jumping has been growing for the past 10 years, but inclusion in the Olympics is what our sport needed to take the next step.”

Five other events under consideration — ski slopestyle (men and women), snowboard slopestyle (men and women), and Alpine team parallel competition — are subject to a further feasibility study. A decision on the inclusion of these five events will be made within the coming weeks.