The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today confirmed the inclusion of six new events on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014. They are ski half-pipe (men and women), women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay.
The decision to include the new events was based on a report presented by the Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) to the IOC Executive Board (EB) in Acapulco in October last year. 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. In addition, the OPC looked at an operational feasibility study conducted by the organisers of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.
The key positive factors included whether the changes would increase universality, gender equity and youth appeal, and, in general, add value to the Games. Other considerations included the cost of infrastructure, and the impact on the overall quota and the number of events.
President and CEO – U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
Vice President – International Ski Federation
“This is a special day. The IOC’s decisions to include women’s ski jumping and halfpipe skiing marks a truly progressive era in the Olympic sport movement. Today is the beginning of a chapter in the history books that will showcase these great athletes’ talent and dedication on the world’s stage in 2014 and beyond. The USSA is happy to be a part of these exciting developments in Olympic sport.”
Executive Vice President, Athletics
“At ski areas worldwide, millions of kids are skiing in halfpipes. Including freeskiing in the Olympics opens the door to millions of youth to share in the Olympic dream.”
“The USSA is thrilled that these athletes will now be able to compete at the Olympic level. They’ve proven themselves athletically, most recently at the 2011 Nordic World Championships in Oslo, with an excellent championship competition under some of the most challenging conditions possible.”
SKI JUMPING ATHLETES
LINDSEY VAN (2009 World Champion)
“I’ve dedicated my life, hopes and dreams to ski jumping and I’m thrilled that our sport will be showcased at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. We are ready.”
“For our sport this means a huge step in the right direction. Women’s ski jumping has been developing a lot over the past 10 years, but the Olympics is what our sport really needed to take the next step.”
“To have our event accepted for Sochi 2014 feels amazing. This decision gives us more validity in the sense that it can only keep growing from here.”
“Although I love ski jumping for what it is — traveling, flying and being with teammates — I cannot help but dream of being at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games and representing my country.”
“This inspires me to continue training hard to be the absolute best athlete that I can be, so that when I have my chance at the Games I can finally fight for the gold medal I have been dreaming of since I was five.”
HALFPIPE SKIING ATHLETES
SIMON DUMONT (six-time X Games halfpipe medalist; bronze halfpipe 2011 World Champs)
“This is a great moment for freeskiing. I feel honored to be considered to be in the same class as an Olympic athlete. It’s exciting to be recognized as an Olympic caliber sport.”
“I hope to have the opportunity to go to Russia and make my country proud. I’ve been waiting for the chance to bring home a medal.”
JEN HUDAK (2010 X Games halfpipe champion; silver halfpipe 2011 World Champs)
“I have been waiting for this decision for over six years now, it is a dream come true! Now on to the next dream: getting myself there!”
“I am so thrilled that the IOC decided to include halfpipe skiing in the 2014 Games in Sochi. The level of the sport is high, the interest in it is even higher, the Olympics provide us with the ultimate stage to show our sport to the world!”
Five other events — 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.
“The inclusion of these events on the Olympic Winter Games programme is sure to be appreciated by athletes and sports fans alike,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “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.”