Olympics-Ski mountaineering proposed as additional sport for 2026 Winter Games

June 18 (Reuters) - Ski mountaineering will be put forward as an additional sport for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement on Friday.

The proposal to add five ski mountaineering medal events will be voted on at the IOC Session in Tokyo on July 20-21, while the full event programme and athlete quotas will be determined at an Executive Board meeting in June 2022.

The framework includes men’s and women’s sprint and individual events and a mixed gender relay event with ski mountaineering given 48 athlete quota places, meaning cuts will be made elsewhere in the overall 2,900 athlete quota for the 2026 Winter Games.

The same five events were featured at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, which represented the first time ski mountaineering had appeared at an IOC event.

The sport is governed by the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF), which has IOC recognition and is headquartered in Italy.

Ski mountaineering’s popularity in Italy was cited by the IOC as a key reason for the Executive Board’s recommendation for it to be added to the 2026 Winter Games programme. (Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Bill Berkrot)