Winter Olympics may not include Nordic combined for the first time

Nordic Combined, which uniquely tests skiers on breathtaking jumps and thrilling runs, has been a part of the Winter Olympics since 1924. Its time may be over.

It is the only Olympic sport without women and the International Olympic Committee is due to make a decision later this month on whether to allow women to compete in Nordic combined at the 2026 Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Games.

It is, however, possible that Nordic combined will be removed from the Olympics entirely, according to athletes and advocates.

“What I’ve heard loud and clear in the side channels is that the solution to dealing with the dirty secret of gender equity is to remove men from the program for 2026,” said Billy Demong , five-time Nordic combined Olympian and USA Nordic board member: “To take one of the original sports out of the first Winter Olympics would be tragic, myopic and wrong.”

The IOC has said final decisions on the 2026 Olympic medal program are expected to be made at a June 24 meeting of its executive board, chaired by President Thomas Bach.

“We are seeing sports such as ski mountaineering being added and I hear that the IOC does not want to increase the number of athletes and the solution is to remove the men from the Nordic combined,” Demong said in an interview on Tuesday. at the Associated Press.

Men’s Nordic Combined have publicly lobbied on social media and elsewhere for women to be included, adding a mixed team format as another Olympic event, and are now preparing for their future as athletes on the world stage. .

Jasper Good, who competed for the United States earlier this year at the Beijing Olympics, said he was “blindsided” by the possibility.

“We have information coming to us from athlete groups around the world and from national governing bodies, and most of us did not know the sport was in danger,” he said.

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