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Ski mountaineering added as IOC makes changes for winter Youth Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that ski mountaineering will be added to the sports programme for the 2020 winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) amid wider reforms for the event in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

Following on from recommendations put forward by the YOG Working Group, along with input from the winter International Federations (IFs) and Lausanne 2020, the IOC’s Executive Board has sought to introduce changes designed to ensure that more youth, more women and more innovative content will be introduced at the winter Games.

Ski mountaineering becomes the eighth sport at the next edition of the winter YOG in the IOC’s home city, based on a proposal from the local organising committee. The sport will be represented in the 17-18 year-old age group in individual, sprint and relay disciplines, and will join the existing seven Olympic sports on the programme.

Adaptations have also been made in each sport. Amongst these are the introduction for the first time of a mixed-nationality 3×3 ice hockey tournament; a women’s doubles event in luge; and the introduction of the women’s Nordic combined ski event. For all the new sports and events, existing venues will be used.

The confirmed event programme means full gender balance for the first time at a winter Olympic event, with the highest number of women’s events and women ever competing at the winter YOG.

The IOC also confirmed that a two-wave stay of athletes will be pioneered for Lausanne 2020, with a view to giving more young athletes the opportunity to have the winter Youth Olympic experience. With the two-wave approach, athletes will be able to condense their length of stay, meaning no need for additional beds in the Youth Olympic Village. The total number of athletes will be 1,880.

Lausanne is hosting the winter YOG following its second edition in Lillehammer, Norway in 2016.