Planning for its next three Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has added seven medal events to the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, published a 2020 Tokyo Olympics schedule with no agreement on when to race swimming finals, and set a timetable to add new sports to the 2024 Paris Olympics. The next Winter Olympics will now include: women’s monobob, Big Air freestyle skiing for men and women, plus mixed team events in short track speed skating, ski jumping, ski aerials and snowboardcross.
The addition of gold medals to a 109-event programme was combined with a reduction in how many athletes will compete. OC sports director Kit McConnell said on July 18 that changes for Beijing were “really sending a strong message about controlling the size of the Olympic Winter Games.” Sports losing athletes from their Olympic quota include 41 in skiing disciplines, 26 from skating, and 20 fewer in biathlon.
Women’s ice hockey will grow by two teams to become a 10-nation lineup instead, adding 46 athletes. McConnell said an improved gender balance will see 45.4% female athletes in Beijing, rising from 41.1% in Pyeongchang. Two years and one week before the Tokyo Olympics open, the IOC published a detailed schedule on July 18 of when competitions will take place.
It lacked any breakdown of events at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, which hosts swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, in a time zone one hour different to Tokyo, swimming finals and semifinals were raced in morning sessions so they could be broadcast live in the United States late evening. U.S. broadcaster NBC is the single biggest contributor to Olympic revenues.