The Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 18 approved the program of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China’s capital.
IOC voted to include six new disciplines in the competition program: women’s single bobsleigh competitions, mixed freestyle and acrobatics team competitions, women’s freestyle in the “big-air” discipline, mixed team tournament in ski jumping, and mixed relay in the short track and mixed team competitions for snowboard cross.
The IOC policy is aimed at equalizing the number of participants by gender, and Beijing-2022 will thus become the most gender-balanced Olympiad ever.
In addition, the Olympics in Beijing will feature a record number of disciplines with the participation of women in the history of the Winter Games.
However, the addition of new disciplines to the Winter Olympics program is not the only changes made by the IOC executive committee as a number of sports lost participants’ quotas.
For example, in biathlon the number of participants will be reduced from 230 people (115 men and 115 women) to 210 (105 and 105). The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has already issued an official press release on this matter.
“The IBU is disappointed by the decision of the IOC Executive Committee to reduce the quota by 20 athletes at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
The IBU understands that this decision is part of a broader program to reduce participants in many ways and reflects IOC’s commitment to reducing the overall cost of the Games, as well as achieving gender equality.
Also, skiing will lose 41 participants, and skaters will be 26 athletes shorter over the last Olympics.
In the bobsleigh, 12 men’s quotas will be given over to women’s competitions, and 46 participants will be added to hockey due to the inclusion of two more teams in the tournament.