IOC adds seven medal events to 2022 Beijing Winter Games

Vastavam web: Planning for its next three Olympic Games, the IOC has added seven medal events to the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, published a 2020 Tokyo Olympics schedule with no agreement on when to race swimming finals, and set a timetable to add new sports to the 2024 Paris Olympics. The next Winter Olympics will now include: women’s monobob, Big Air freestyle skiing for men and women, plus mixed team events in short track speed skating, ski jumping, ski aerials and snowboardcross.

The addition of gold medals to a 109-event program was combined with a reduction in how many athletes will compete. IOC sports director Kit McConnell said yesterday that changes for Beijing were “really sending a strong message about controlling the size of the Olympic Winter Games.” Sports losing athletes from their Olympic quota include 41 in skiing disciplines, 26 from skating, and 20 fewer in biathlon. Women’s ice hockey will grow by two teams to become a 10-nation lineup instead, adding 46 athletes.

McConnell said an improved gender balance will see 45.4 percent female athletes in Beijing, rising from 41.1 percent in Pyeongchang. Two years and one week before the Tokyo Olympics open, the IOC published a detailed schedule Wednesday of when competitions will take place. It lacked any breakdown of events at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, which hosts swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming.

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, in a time zone one hour different to Tokyo, swimming finals and semifinals were raced in morning sessions so they could be broadcast live in the United States late evening. US broadcaster NBC is the single biggest contributor to Olympic revenues. However, swimming is also a core attraction for the host nation’s viewers with Japan winning seven medals, including two gold, at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Paris organizers have an uncertain wait to discover if new sports they propose next year for inclusion on the 2024 program will be approved.