This became clear when the Program Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presented its recommendations for the program for the 2026 Olympics.
Despite the fact that the women’s combined version is not included in the program, the IOC boasted that the Games in four years would be the most equal ever. This is partly due to the fact that female jumpers are allowed to compete on the big hill for the first time and thus have two singles competitions.
– I think it’s very sad. I think it’s too bad the IOC boasts that the Games in 2026 are the most evenly matched ever, but then it’s still an absolutely uneven sport, says the world’s best combined sprinter in recent years, Jeda Westfold Hansen, to NRK.
IOC member Karl Stauss, who heads the IOC’s work with the Olympic programme, presented the program at a Friday evening news conference.
– The argument for keeping the men in 2026 is that the Olympics are only three and a half years away and they have been preparing for many years, but this does not apply to the women because so far they have only had the World Cup once, with only ten participating countries, he said.
Women first competed in the World Cup in Oberstdorf in 2021. A few months ago, they also ran their first World Cup race.
Stoan: – scandal
The Norwegian Ski Federation’s co-sporting director, Ivar Stoan, is clear about his opinion of the decision.
– He’s so sad. I think these are hopeless and bad arguments. He tells NRK I don’t understand the decision, I just have to respect it, I can’t do anything about it.
– I think they decided in advance, it’s a snooze from the past. It’s a sad thing to get along with, our girls, Stoan says.
Mixed sport is the only sport at the Winter Olympics where both genders are not represented.
– It’s very scandalous and terrible. I almost laughed at him, because I think it’s ridiculous. Stoan thinks there are almost no words for it.
Hansen says she doesn’t buy the argument from the IOC.
– If you look at the girls’ side over the past four years, there’s been a massive development in the whole of Fjøla. Everyone has done. It works really well and people make real effort.
There are still some loopholes
FIS’s joint race director, Lasse Ottesen, said he was deeply disappointed with the decision. However, he has not completely abandoned the possibility of women participating in the Olympic program in 2026.
We have not given up, there are still some loopholes that we will work with, and we will also see when autumn comes if we can give some other news, he says, without wanting to explain the loopholes we are talking about.
Ottesen says they will use the weekend to land after the decision.
– Then we’ll make a plan. Because there’s no doubt we’ll have the knife up our throat by 2030, he says.
Stoss, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said the following about the sport’s chance of remaining on the Olympic program in 2030:
Combined, it depends on a significant positive development, especially in terms of participation and audience.
Ottesen makes no secret of the fact that missing out on the Olympics in 2026 could make it more difficult for women to continue to evolve.
For women, we must work on development and employment and work to achieve more progress. But it doesn’t get any easier with the partners when another four years pass until they finally join the Olympic programme.
Bad news for those who want the Olympics in Norway
NRK sports commentator Jan-Peter Saltvedt is surprised by the decision.
– I never thought they would go in that direction. They’re a step away from being able to hit their chests and chests and say they have an equal footing in the Olympic context. Instead, they take a giant step back. Not because the loss was great, but because it goes against everything that Bach pointed out and promised and which was the motto of the modern IOC externally, says Saltvedt.
– From a Norwegian point of view, it’s a particularly bad sign for those hoping to make a fresh bid for the Norwegian Olympics. For many, this is evidence that the new International Olympic Committee does not actually exist, he says.
– What does this mean for the combination?
It can certainly be seen in the way of removing what is the origin of the Winter Olympics. sAs is the case today, I wouldn’t recommend my kids start together if it’s the Olympic medals they’re aiming for.
– more basic
Kristen Kloster Asen, a Norwegian member of the International Olympic Committee, knows that combined has a good way when it comes to popularizing the sport. In the last three Olympic Games, athletes from only four countries have won combined medals.
– It is also the case that support and popularity have been at the bottom of the lists for the last three Olympics. NRK says the next person on the list below has nine times the support among spectators, audiences and others watching the Olympics.
– It is a much more fundamental problem than combining it with gender balance.
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