19 July 2018

IOC confirms Ski Big Air for 2022 Olympic programme

The International Olympic Committee announced overnight that Ski Big Air will be included in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games programme, a decision welcomed by British Ski & Snowboard.

With Great Britain already home to a host of world class freestyle skiers competing successfully in Big Air events at World Cups and X-Games, there is the realistic proposition of Team GB vying for more freestyle skiing medals in four years’ time.

“Big Air was such a success for the snowboarders – and particularly for Team GB with Billy Morgan’s medal in PyeongChang – so it’s not a huge surprise to see it included in the freestyle skiing programme but it’s certainly great news to have it confirmed,” said Dan Hunt, BSS Performance Director.

“[James] Woodsy [Woods] has won X-Games gold in Big Air while Katie Summerhayes, Izzy Atkin and Madi Rowlands have all placed in the top 10 at World Cup level so we already have some genuine talent in the field and there’s more coming through the ranks via the Park & Pipe pathway.

“That said, there’s been a lot of freestyle skiers concentrating on slopestyle recently since Big Air was not in the programme for PyeongChang.

“Realistically, Big Air’s inclusion for Beijing means we’re going to be seeing more of the best freestyle skiers competing at World Cup events over the next four years but I’m confident that our athletes will be consistently challenging for podium positions.”

While the inclusion of Ski Big Air is cause for some celebration, there is disappointment that Telemark was not included in the 2022 programme.

One of the oldest forms of snowsports, Telemark skiing was recommended for inclusion in Beijing by international governing body FIS, however the IOC did not select the sport for the Olympic programme.

Had it been included, GB would certainly have challenged for a medal with four-time World Cup winner Jasmin Taylor amongst the best in the world in the discipline.

“We’re obviously really disappointed that Telemark wasn’t included but despite it being a non-Olympic discipline, BSS will continue its ongoing support of the British Telemark Team,” said Hunt.

“Jaz Taylor is a real champion for her sport, and had Telemark been included for Beijing she would have been right in there mixing it with the best.

“On the back of 14 podiums last season we know she’ll continue to hold her place as one of the best in the world and hopefully she can inspire other members of the British Telemark Team to bigger and better things in the upcoming season and beyond.”

The other new ski and snowboard events for Beijing 2022 are mixed team events for Snowboard Cross, Freestyle Skiing Aerials and Ski Jumping, while women’s Nordic Combined missed selection.

The IOC announcement means there will be 109 events on the Beijing 2022 program – 51 for men, 46 for women and 12 mixed events – with the highest overall gender balance at an Olympic Winter Games.

 

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