International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials say they need more time to review several proposed ski and snowboard events before deciding whether to include them in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The IOC looks “favorably” on the proposed events but will wait until after their respective world championships in 2011 to make a final decision, according to The Associated Press.
Among the events up for inclusion are women’s ski jumping, men and women’s ski and snowboard slopestyle, and ski halfpipe. A bid for a team alpine skiing event that features head-to-head competition on a parallel giant slalom course was rejected.
The IOC twice turned down women’s ski jumping for acceptance into the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, claiming the sport lacked enough elite competitors. The International Ski Federation (FIS) has since announced a World Cup women’s ski jumping circuit for the 2011-12 season, a move that is seen as a vital step in gaining Olympic acceptance.
Women ski jumpers were crossing their fingers for a successful IOC nod after today’s meeting in Acapulco, Mexico, but the committee decided it needs to evaluate the level competition at the upcoming world championships in Oslo, Norway before a final approval.
Ski halfpipe has been included in FIS World Championships since 2005 and is already on the program for the 2012 Youth Olympics in Innsbruck. Also on tap for the Youth Olympics is snowboard slopestyle.
New events must be approved no later than three years before the start of the Olympic Games, which puts February 2011 as the latest a decision could be made on whether to accept the new disciplines in 2014.