LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The IOC will not add women’s Nordic combined to the 2026 Winter Games, a decision Friday that confirms skiing as the only Olympic sport lacking gender equality.
The long-term Olympic future of Nordic combined was also put in doubt with no commitment to keep the men’s event on the program in 2030.
Nordic combined, which tests athletes in the contrasting disciplines of ski jumping and cross-country skiing, was one of the original 16 medal events at the first Winter Games in 1924.
However, the women’s event has only recently had global competitions, and the International Olympic Committee wants to see more evidence of widespread appeal.
The last women’s championship had only 10 nations taking part, IOC member Karl Stoss said in announcing the decision. He cited a « very concerning situation » that Nordic combined needed to develop a bigger audience and female athletes from more countries.
Stoss said that while men’s Nordic combined athletes had been preparing « for many years » for the 2026 Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympics to be held in Italy, the same was not true for the women.
Some athletes feared the IOC might solve the equality issue by dropping the men’s event in four years.
The decision was made by the IOC executive board, which has twice as many men as women — a 10-5 split.