Milano Cortina 2026 proposes Ski Mountaineering as additional sport

The proposal from the Organising Committee will be voted on by the IOC Session in Tokyo from 20-21 July 2021 after the IOC Executive Board forwarded it.

By ZK Goh

The Olympic Winter Games of Milano Cortina 2026 could mark the Olympic debut of Ski Mountaineering after the IOC Executive Board (EB) forwarded a proposal from the Organising Committee for a vote.

Milano Cortina 2026 had proposed the inclusion of five new medal events – sprint and individual events for both men and women, and a mixed-gender relay – which would see 48 athletes (24 men and 24 women) compete.

The IOC Session will vote on the proposal at its next meeting in Tokyo in July.

Ski Mountaineering was featured on the programme at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games to great success.

The IOC EC pointed to that positive result, as well as the popularity of Ski Mountaineering in Italy, and the quick growth of the sport worldwide, in its decision to forward the proposal to the IOC Session.

As part of the proposal, the 48 athlete quotas would come from the existing total of 2,900, while no new additional or standalone venues will be built for the sport, instead relying on venue sharing.

In a statement, the IOC said the framework "reiterates key considerations around athlete quotas and venue master plan in view of reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Olympic Games within a post-pandemic context."

The sport's inclusion will be discussed and voted on from 20-21 July. The full event program and quotas will be decided on by the IOC EB in 2022.

If approved, Milano Cortina 2026 will be the third Games to include additional sports on the Olympic programme.

Olympic Agenda 2020 allowed each Organising Committee to propose the inclusion of additional events or sports – Tokyo 2020 will see baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing as additional sports; Paris 2024 will replace baseball/softball and karate with breaking.