Ski mountaineering set to join Olympics at 2026 Winter Games

Sports

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP)A new sport is set to be given an Olympic debut at the 2026 Winter Games.

Ski mountaineering has been proposed by the IOC executive board as the eighth sport on the 2026 program in Milan-Cortina, the Olympic body said on Friday.

The sport involves skiing and hiking up and down mountain terrain. The plan is for five new medal events in sprint and individual races for men and women, and a mixed gender relay.

The same events were staged at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Italian athletes won three of the 15 medals.

”Ski mountaineering is a particularly popular sport in Italy, with deep historical and sporting roots across the alpine regions,” the IOC said in a statement

The proposal, first made by the Milan-Cortina organizing committee, will be voted on by around 100 International Olympic Committee members at their July 20-21 meeting ahead of the Tokyo Olympics opening, the IOC said.

Members typically rubber stamp proposals from the IOC board with little or no opposition.

The new sport should be added without increasing the number of athletes at the 2026 Olympics.

The IOC said 48 athlete places in ski mountaineering – 24 each for men and women – can ”be found within the overall framework” of the overall quota of 2,900.

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