Ski mountaineering set to be introduced at the 2026 Winter Games

A new sport is set to make its Olympic debut at the 2026 Winter Games.

Ski mountaineering has been proposed by the IOC Executive Board as the eighth sport in the 2026 program in Milan-Cortina, the Olympic body announced on Friday.

Sport involves skiing and hiking in the mountains. The plan includes five new medalist events in sprint and individual races for men and women, and a mixed relay.

The same events were staged at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Italian athletes won three of 15 medals.

“Ski mountaineering is a particularly popular sport in Italy, with deep historical and sporting roots in alpine regions,” the IOC said in a statement.

The proposal, made for the first time by the Milan-Cortina organizing committee, will be voted on by around 100 members of the International Olympic Committee at their meeting on July 20 and 21 before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, a indicated the IOC.

Members generally approve the proposals of the IOC Board of Directors with little or no opposition.

The new sport is expected to be added without increasing the number of athletes at the 2026 Olympics.

The IOC said 48 ski mountaineering athlete places – 24 each for men and women – can “be found within the overall framework” of the overall quota of 2,900.