Sports > General > Six New Sports to Debut in Sochi, Women and Team Participation to Increase

Six New Sports to Debut in Sochi, Women and Team Participation to Increase Hot

Women's Ski JumpOn Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the inclusion of six new sports on the docket at the 2014 Sochi Games, marking a shift by the federation to support new, non-traditional disciplines and increased participation for women.

Most notably, 2014 will usher in the first edition of Women’s Ski Jumping, after years of legal cases and appeals staged by female jumpers to have the sport included at the Vancouver Games. Those appeals seemed to impact the IOC and the women will finally have their chance in Sochi.

According to the IOC, the event will work the same for the women as it does for the men, with each individual receiving two jumps over two rounds, judged on distance and style. This competition will take place on the normal hill with the highest three competitor scores earning a medal.

Additionally, male and female skiers will get their chance in the halfpipe in Sochi (considered two separate sports), featuring a competition similar to that of snowboard. Athletes will be judged based on their maneuvers and amplitude over two runs in the pipe during the qualification and final rounds.

Women’s Ski Jumping and Ski Halfpipe are likely to draw the greatest attention in 2014, however, the other three events debuting in Sochi, are:

Biathlon Mixed Relay

The IOC states that this event has been popular amongst biathlon fans worldwide and believes it has a rightful place at the Olympics. The event is somewhat complicated for those not familiar with biathlon, but here is a rundown from the IOC:

“The mixed relay features two female athletes and two male athletes from the same NOC competing together. Women race a 6km leg and men race a 7.5km leg in usa-luge-photothe following order: W-W-M-M. Each athlete shoots twice (1 prone, 1 standing). For every missed target a penalty loop of 150m must be skied.”

Luge Team Relay

Sliding sports are always an Olympic fan fave, and organizers don’t expect the new Luge Team Relay to be any different. The event will be a hybrid of swimming and sliding according the IOC’s description:

“This new race format features teams comprised of a doubles sled, a women’s singles sled and a men’s singles sled. All three entrants from one team slide one after another with the clock stopping only after the third sled has crossed the finish line. A touch pad at the finish line must be activated by an athlete in one sled before the gate at the start line opens for the following team member to compete.”

Figure Skating Team Event

Continuing with the team-oriented theme, figure skating fans will add yet another event to fulfill the desire of fans and boost TV ratings in a sport that typically draws the best numbers during the Olympics. The setup is fairly simple, as listed below:

“The figure skating team event will feature teams made up of six skaters: one male skater, one female skater, one skating pair and one ice dance couple. Points are awarded to each skater/ couple. The team with the highest number of aggregate points is declared the winner.”

IOC President Jacque Rogge made the following remarks via a press release issued to make the announcement, “These are exciting, entertaining events that perfectly complement the existing events on the sports program, 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.”

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.


-Ryan O'Leary

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