Winter Olympics: Ski Mountaineering to be proposed as an additional sport at Milano Cortina 2026
Photo: IOC

Winter Olympics: Ski Mountaineering to be proposed as an additional sport at Milano Cortina 2026

Lausanne, June 19, 2021

Ski Mountaineering will be put forward as an additional sport to the programme of the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

The IOC Executive Board has forwarded this proposal to the next IOC Session in Tokyo in July, a press release from IOC said.

The Organising Committee of the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 had officially proposed the inclusion of Ski Mountaineering, governed by the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF), as an additional sport to the programme of this specific edition of the Games.

The proposal to include Ski Mountaineering consists of:

- 5 new medal events: 2 men’s events (Sprint/Individual), 2 women’s events (Sprint/Individual), 1 mixed-gender relay event

- 48 athlete quotas (24 men/24women) to be found within the overall framework of the 2,900 quota.

These five proposed events will follow the principles set for all other events in the programme, including the implementation of a full venue-sharing model with no additional or standalone Games venue for ski mountaineering.

This framework, approved by the IOC EB on 10 June and fully supported by the Milano Cortina 2026 Board of Directors in its meeting on 14 June, reiterates key considerations around athlete quotas and venue master plan in view of reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Olympic Games within a post-pandemic context, the release said.

In its decision, the IOC EB highlighted the following key features of ski mountaineering that support its potential inclusion to the programme of Milano Cortina 2026:

- The same five Ski Mountaineering events contributed to the success of the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020;

- Ski Mountaineering is a particularly popular sport in Italy, with deep historical and sporting roots across the alpine regions. Italy is also one of the world’s leading nations with several international successes in major competitions over the past 10 years;

- Ski Mountaineering is a fast-growing winter sport among amateur/weekend practitioners. Europe is the continent where ski mountaineering has the greatest development but over recent years more and more participants, at both professional and amateur level, have been detected all over the world.

The recommendation of the IOC EB for the inclusion of ski mountaineering in the sport programme of Milano Cortina 2026 will be discussed and finalised at the IOC Session in Tokyo on 20-21 July 2021, while the determination of the full event programme and athlete quotas will take place at the IOC EB meeting in June 2022, the release said.

Olympic Agenda 2020 introduced new flexibility to the Olympic programme, moving from a sport-based to an event-based programme, which is reflected in Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter. This shift also gave the relevant Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) the opportunity to make a proposal for the inclusion of one or more additional events from an IOC Recognised IF for its specific edition of the Games. IOC recognition confirms that the respective IF is fully compliant with the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code, which is a necessary step in view of a potential inclusion to the Olympic Programme.

"It should be noted that the OCOG’s opportunity to include an additional sport in its respective programme is not mandatory.

"This process represents the opportunity to the OCOG to enhance and strengthen its overall Games concept, proposing one or more sports that reflect its vision and allow to further engage with the local communities through spectacular sports that are culturally relevant for the host country and beyond," the release added.

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