Olympics-IOC approves ski mountaineering for 2026 Winter Games

TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - The sport of ski mountaineering has been included in the programme for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy’s Milan and Cortina D’Ampezzo following approval by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

The sport, which combines ascents and descents of mountain trails on or while carrying skis, will have five events at the Olympics.

With a total number of 48 athletes (24 women and 24 men) at the Games, the events will be sprints, individuals and one mixed gender relay.

The IOC cited the sport’s popularity in hosts Italy and its rapid expansion in the United States and Canada among other countries.

The inclusion of ski mountaineering, which featured at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, brings the total number of winter sports to eight. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford )