The inclusion of the sport was unanimously approved today (20 July) by the IOC session after the proposal from the Organising Committee was forwarded by the IOC Executive Board in June.
The ski mountaineering programme will consist of five new medal events: two men's events (sprint/individual), two women's event (sprint/individual) and one mixed-gender relay event.
The reasoning behind ski mountaineering's inclusion on Milano Cortina 2026's programme came in part because of the success of the same five ski mountaineering events at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.
The other part, hinged on the sport itself. Ski mountaineering is particularly a popular sport in Italy, where the Games will be hosted, and is a one of the fastest-growing winter sports amongst amateurs.
The quota of athletes for the sport will be 48 (24 men and 24 women), and this will fall within the overall quota framework of 2,900 athletes.
In addition, it was revealed that the five events will fit within the full venue-sharing model meaning no additional or standalone Games venue or structure will be needed to support ski mountaineering.
With the approval of ski mountaineering, Milano Cortina 2026 is officially 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.