Winter Sports

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Could Synchronized Skating Makes Its Olympic Debut in 2022?

18 Apr, 2018

By: Michael Popke

The International Olympic Committee won’t be adding any new sports to the agenda in Beijing in 2022 – but they haven’t ruled out the potential for variations on the existing sports.

That may be semantics, but it has also raised hope among aficionados of certain disciplines of those sports. And that means event organizers and venues can look forward to an uptick in the demand for competitions in those sports.

Women’s Nordic combined, synchronized skating and several new mixed team competitions are among the events and disciplines proposed by winter sport federationsfor the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, according to the Olympics news website Inside the Games. The IOC will consider applications before a decision is made by the committee’s executive board in July.

Synchronized skating — a team sport in which 8 to 20 skaters perform a program together — is gaining popularity in the United States, according to U.S. Figure Skating. The national governing body held the first U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in 1984 and hosted the first World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2000. There are approximately 600 synchronized teams registered with U.S. Figure Skating, and nearly 5,000 athletes participate annually in the synchronized skating sectional championships.

What’s more, approximately 35 colleges participate in U.S. Figure Skating’s synchronized skating sectional championships. Some college and university hockey teams — including the University of Minnesota and University of North Dakota— even have cheerleaders who perform synchronized skating formations on the ice.

Four new sports were added to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea — big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass start speedskating and mixed doubles curling. IOC officials have cited concern about increasing the scale and cost of the Winter Games as part of the reason for not adding more new sports.

Bandy (let the Googling begin), ice climbing and ski mountaineering were among the new sports previously under consideration for IOC status in 2022.

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