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SKI BIG AIR AMONG NEW EVENTS AT BEIJING 2022 - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Wednesday July 18, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's one of five new ski and snowboard disciplines to be included at the next Winter Games, but there's no place for Telemark skiing. UPDATED



The new on-snow events announced by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday are:

  • Men's Ski Big Air
  • Women's Ski Big Air
  • Snowboard Cross Mixed Team
  • Ski Aerials Mixed Team
  • Ski Jumping Mixed Team

Supporters of Telemark are deeply disappointed at its failure to make it onto the Beijing programme.

Privately some are furious.

One told PlanetSKI the discipline had been "railroaded" by the IOC, which had chosen instead to add more snowboard, freestyle and nordic events to the Olympic programme.

Without doubt one of the most spectacular additions will be Ski Big Air.

In 2022 it will join Snowboard Big Air, which had its debut in Pyeongchang in February.

Snowboard Big Air final at PyeongchangSnowboard Big Air final at Pyeongchang













The event was seen as a success, not least for Team GB's Billy Morgan who won an unexpected bronze medal.

Great Britain's Izzy Atkin (bronze medallist in Ski Slopestyle in Pyeongchang) and James Woods (4th in Pyeongchang) would have been strong contenders had Ski Big Air been included in 2018.

Woodsy won gold in the Big Air at the Aspen X Games in January 2017.

James Woods and Izzy AtkinGB's Woodsy and Atkin

















The governing body, British Ski and Snowboard has welcomed the inclusion of Ski Big Air, saying it gives Team GB a realistic proposition of vying for more freestyle 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, Performance Director of British Ski and Snowboard.

"Woodsy 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."

James WoodsJames 'Woodsy' Woods - photo Tommy Pyatt















While it's good news for the freestylers, the decision to exclude the Telemark parallel sprint has come as a huge blow to the GB Telemark team.

It had mounted a strong case for inclusion, backed by a prominent social media campaign.

24-year-old British Telemarker Jasmin Taylor has just had her best season with 14 World Cup podiums, including four wins and she finished fourth overall in the world rankings.

It has been her lifelong dream to compete at an Olympic Games.

"I am gutted but proud and forever thankful to how this sport has shaped my life," she said after the announcement.

"At least we tried - here's to another season racing World Cup Thank you to everyone along the way, the job is not done yet."

World Cup telemark podiumJasmin Taylor (left) - 14 World Cup podiums last season















"The IOC's decision is obviously very disappointing for us, however I remain optimistic for the future of our sport and the FIS Telemark World Cup,"  Jack Harvard-Taylor, spokesman for GB Telemark told PlanetSKI.

"In the last three years telemark has grown exponentially - in participation levels but also global interest following the World Cup and World Championships.

"I am confident telemark racing will continue to thrive as the sport continues to innovate and attract new and diverse audiences."

Telemark parallel sprintTelemark parallel sprint














Andrew Clarke, the FIS Telemark Committee Chairman told us he believed it was a missed opportunity.

"Of course I am deeply disappointed at what appears to be a shortsighted view with regards to Telemark," he said.

"I had hoped that the IOC may see an opportunity to diversify the Games and realise the appeal that a new discipline like Telemark could infuse into the Games."

PlanetSKI had followed the Telemark bid closely:

Our report was even presented to delegates at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Congress as it considered whether to recommend it to the IOC.

Read all about it!PlanetSKI on the FIS agenda
















And we were the first to report the FIS decision:

The announcement on the new events for Beijing 2022 came at the end of the first day of the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board meeting in Lausanne.

A proposal to include the individual Alpine Parallel event which would replace the Alpine Combined is to be reviewed by the IOC at the end of the year.

The events proposed by FIS but rejected on Wednesday by the IOC are:

  • Telemark Parallel Sprint
  • Nordic Combined women's individual event
  • Snowboard alpine mixed team parallel event
  • Snowboard parallel slalom
In addition to the new on-snow competitions, the IOC has added the Skating Short Track mixed team relay, and the Bobsled women's mono-bob.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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