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Will Nordic combined remain Olympic?

Will Nordic combined remain Olympic?
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Image: GEPA pictures

In addition, FIS race director Lasse Ottesen reiterated his confidence in Seefeld that women will also take part in the Winter Games for the first time in 2030.

“We are working hard on it. I think and hope that we will make further progress in the next two years. So that in 2026 there is actually no discussion about it and the IOC makes the decision that the women will be part of the Olympics from 2030,” said Ottesen to the APA – Austria Press Agency. The lively exchange with the IOC makes him confident. “We are in good dialogue with the IOC. I also spoke to President Bach in Korea.”

Combination is on the brink

The combination is on the brink because there is not enough international performance density for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The lack of variety in formats and low TV ratings are further points of criticism. For 2026, the women were denied their first Olympic status and the men were given the rod. The IOC makes the approval of both genders for 2030 dependent on further development of the sport.

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The FIS is trying to achieve this in coordination with the national associations, for example with new formats and funding programs for smaller countries. “It’s going in the right direction,” emphasized Ottesen. He even rates the progress of the still young women’s division, which has only been holding World Cups since 2020/21 and has been on the World Cup program since 2021, as “fantastic”. “We are also developing well in terms of the calendar. Next season the plan is to have three or four new stations, and Val di Fiemme will be added.” The Norwegian would also like to have a triple event like the one for the men in Seefeld.

Only 22 women at the start

The fact that only 22 women took part in the current World Cup in Tyrol is due to the recently concluded Youth Winter Games in South Korea and the upcoming Junior World Championships. Not least because of the very young age of the athletes, Ottesen pleads for patience. “We need a little more time. In ski jumping it also took ten years until there were 50 women. I think we currently have a good package with 30 in the World Cup and 20, 25 in the Continental Cup. It will be step by step over the next few years increase.”

Ottesen is also betting that his Norwegian compatriots will no longer dominate the event with double or even triple victories. “We hope that other nations will also soon have World Cup victories.” There should not be any more new formats like the compact competition introduced this season in the medium term. “The feedback for the compact is good, I think it will stay that way. There will be ideas and suggestions, but I think we now have a good concept, including with the mixed team,” said Ottesen.

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