To advance gender equality at the Games, mixed events have featured since the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. And many of them have subsequently been introduced to the Olympic programme.
Such is the case of the ski jumping mixed team event, which will finally make its Olympic debut at Beijing 2022. Nations that qualify a minimum of two male and two female athletes are eligible to enter a team in this event.
The ski jumping mixed team format at Beijing 2022
The ski jumping mixed team event made its international level debut at the World Cup in November 2012. The following year, it made its first-ever appearance at the World Championships. And now it's the turn of the Olympic Winter Games!
The event takes place on the normal hill, using the same scoring method as the ski jumping men’s team competition. Each team is made up of four athletes, two women and two men, who will compete in the following order: woman - man - woman - man.
The event consists of one trial round and two rounds of competition. The best eight teams from the first competition round advance to the second. They will then fight for the medals in the reverse order to the standings.
Now that we have ironed out the basics, let’s get to the details.
How to follow the ski jumping mixed event at Beijing 2022
The National Ski Jumping Centre will stage the ski jumping competition (and also the ski jumping section of the Nordic combined event) at Beijing 2022.
The ski jumping mixed team event will take place on 7 February. It will be the third set of medals awarded in the ski jumping competition, after both women’s (5 February) and men’s (6 February) individual normal hill events.
The Trial Round will take place between 18:30 and 19:07 local time, followed by the first round of competition (19:45). The final round will kick off at 20:51 and is scheduled to finish by 21:27.
What makes the mixed team event so special? Olympians explain
The mixed team event will make its long-awaited Olympic debut at Beijing 2022. At the Youth Winter Olympics, the team competition has been contested as a mixed event since the very first edition, Innsbruck 2012. However, the current format (two women, two men) wasn’t adopted until Lausanne 2020.
"It's great! We don't have that many competitions to fight with the girls, and it's great being in the team with them, and to get another team spirit, team atmosphere," Karl Geiger said to Eurosport after winning the gold medal at the 2019 World Championship.
“Jumping in a mixed team event feels completely different from individual competition,” Austrian up-and-comer Daniel Tschofenig said to FIS Ski last February after winning a mixed team World Cup event. “You have the whole team behind you. This is my first World Cup podium so I am extremely happy. I am really proud to be part of this team”.
Geiger and Tschofenig could very well be in the fight for the medals in this event.
Who to look out for in the mixed team ski jumping event?
Who will be the first-ever Olympic champions in the ski jumping mixed team event? For starters, Germany is the safest bet. They have won the gold medal in the last four World Championships, and have reached the podium in all five editions (including winning bronze in 2013).
Last February, they won again with a team that included three-time mixed team world champions Markus Eisenbichler (the only skier to win individual, team and mixed team gold in the same edition, 2019). Katharina Althaus (Olympic silver in 2018); Karl Geiger, who reached the podium in all four of his events at this year’s World Championships; and Anna Rupprecht, rounded out the team.
But it won't be easy. Among the teams that could pose a threat to Germany, three stand out: Austria, who have won medals in four of the five World Championships where this event has been contested; Norway, who won silver last February; and Japan, the only team not named Germany to ever be crowned world champion (2013).