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IOC removes women's Nordic combined event from '26 Games

With the removal of the women's competition, Nordic combined is the lone Olympic sport without female representationGetty Images

The IOC on Friday decided "not to add a women’s Nordic combined event" to the '26 Milan Cortina Games, a “devastating setback for dozens of women who have dedicated their lives to the event in recent years and a potentially fatal blow to one of the original Winter Olympic competitions,” according to Matthew Futterman of the N.Y. TIMES. Men will “continue to compete in Nordic combined, which requires excellence in both ski jumping and cross-country skiing.” But their event is “in jeopardy now” for the ‘30 Games because the IOC has “prioritized sports that are capable of achieving gender equity.” The IOC tried to "soften the blow to women” by noting that it had "adjusted other events so that 47 percent of the athletes in 2026 will be women” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/25). The IOC said that Nordic combined is in a “’very concerning situation’ for staying on the Olympic program" beyond '26, with its inclusion in the ‘30 Games depending on "significant developments in global participation and audience.” Nordic combined is the “lone Olympic sport without female representation” (NBCSPORTS.com, 6/24).

NEW ADDITIONS: NBCSPORTS.com noted eight events have been “added to the program” for the '26 Milan Cortina Games. Ski mountaineering, a new sport added to the program last year, will “have a men’s sprint, women’s sprint and a mixed-gender relay.” New events in existing sports include “men’s and women’s dual moguls in freestyle skiing, breaking up the open luge doubles event (where only men have competed) into men’s doubles and women’s doubles, a mixed-gender skeleton team event and a women’s large hill event in ski jumping to match the men’s individual ski jumping program.” The Alpine skiing team event, which debuted at the ‘18 PyeongChang Games, “has been cut" (NBCSPORTS.com, 6/24).

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