SOCHI 2014: Women's ski jumping added to 2014 Olympic schedule
INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee officials have added six new events to the Winter Olympic programme in time for Sochi 2014.
CAMPAIGN: Women's ski jumpers staged a high profile but unsuccessful campaign to earn their Olympic place in Vancouver. They will be part of the schedule in Sochi, the IOC have confirmed
As expected IOC president Jacques Rogge confirmed that women's ski jumping would take its place on the schedule and it will be joined by men's and women's skiing half-pipe, a mixed biathlon relay, a figure skating team event and the luge team relay.
A decision on three other events - ski and snowboard slopestyle and an alpine skiing team event - will be taken after further a feasibility study, commissioned in conjunction with Sochi organisers.
Women's ski jumping was controversially omitted from last year's Vancouver Olympics, leading a legal challenge from a number of leading jumpers, who also travelled to the IOC's headquarters to personally lobby Rogge.
American Lindsey Van, the former world champion, fronted the high-profile legal campaign, describing the IOC as 'the Taliban of the Olympics' when it was unsuccessful.
"If you compare the most recent women's ski jumping World Championship to the previous event there is much more quality and depth in the top 30," said IOC sports director Christophe Dubi.
"There was previously a handful of good jumpers, now we have 30 and 13 countries are represented, which shows great universality.
"There is more quality in the sport than two years ago and that is incredibly fast progress, which gives us great hope for the future."
However, the decision to further investigate the claims of snowboard slopestyle is a blow to Great Britain's Jenny Jones, the two-time X-Games champion who would be one of the best Team GB medal chances in Sochi.
“These are exciting, entertaining events that perfectly complement the existing events on the sports programme, bring added appeal and increase the number of women participating at the Games. I look forward to watching the athletes compete in these events in Sochi 2014.”
Meanwhile, the IOC's executive board, meeting as part of the Sport Accord convention in London, have recommended three new members.
International Canoeing Federation president Jose Perurena Lopez will be joined by New Zealander Barbara Kendall, a three-time Olympic sailing medallist and Argentina's Gerardo Werthein, subject to a vote to the IOC's full membership in July.