(Reuters) - Seven new events have been added to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics programme, which paves the way for the highest representation of female athletes at the event, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.
IOC’s executive board approved women’s monobob, freestyle ski big air (men and women), short track mixed relay, a ski jumping mixed team event, mixed gender team aerials and a snowboard cross mixed team event.
“The addition of these new events for Beijing 2022 reflects our continued commitment to make the Olympic Games programmes more youthful and gender balanced,” IOC sports director Kit McConnell said in a statement.
“I am very pleased to see the increase of female athletes, especially in such exciting, ground-breaking events. At the same time, we are sending a message that the size of the Olympic Winter Games is being directly addressed.”
With this decision, the Beijing games will see an increase in female representation from 41 percent in Pyeongchang to 45.44 percent. A total of 46 women’s events will see 1,314 women athletes competing.
The overall number of athletes was trimmed by 41 to 2,892, which is within the Olympic Charter framework, the IOC said.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis