PARIS (Reuters) - Mixed events could be part of cycling’s development at future Olympics, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson said on Monday.
“Nothing will be changed for Rio (2016), we need to emphasise that,” Cookson told Reuters by telephone from Monaco, where he is attending an International Olympic Committee (IOC)session.
Part of recommendation 11, which is looking to foster gender equality, said that the IOC should “encourage the inclusion of mixed-gender team events.”
With new sports possibly being included as of the Tokyo 2020 Games, traditional sports will be looking to preserve their turf.
Cookson said it was too early to say whether cycling might lose events at the Tokyo Games.
“I’m looking forward to precisely what format cycling will have in Tokyo.” he said.
Citing IOC president Thomas Bach’s “interesting ideas”, Cookson said his sport was ready to explore new possibilities, although he was in the “very early stages” of his reflexion.
“Men and women competing together, there is no history of that, maybe a team relay,” Cookson said when asked to elaborate.
“We’d need to do some test events and to consult with the national federations, what would work and not work.
“Mixing men and women at the same event in the same time... If that is something the IOC feels would make cycling look attractive we need to look into that.”
Eighteen gold medals were awarded in cycling across four disciplines at the last Olympics: road cycling, track cycling, BMX and cross-country.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Alan Baldwin