The big picture: Many of the new events are mixed and the advent of more mixed events is part of an effort to increase gender equality at the Games.
- The new events will take place in bobsled, short track skating, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, and snowboarding.
The new events are:
Women’s monobob: Bobsled has been a staple of every Winter Olympics but one, and this year’s Games will feature the brand new women’s monobob event. Men have been competing in bobsled events since 1924, but women did not get a chance to compete until a pairs event was introduced in 2002, per the New York Times.
- The addition of the monobob gives women two chances to win medals in the sport.
- Schedule: Heats start Feb. 12
Mixed relay in short track speed skating: Short track speed skating is one of three skating disciplines that compete in the Winter Olympics, and the Beijing Games will see the debut of the mixed team relay.
- Short track speed skating is a relatively newer edition to the Olympic repertoire, having become an official Olympic sport in 1992. It’s known as a high-octane event where skaters can display their explosive speeds on the ice.
- The relay will consist of a maximum of 12 four-person teams, each with two female and two male athletes.
- Schedule: Quarterfinals start Feb. 5
Men’s and women’s big air freestyle: Freestyle skiing became part of the winter Olympic repertoire in 1992, and the this year is the Olympic debut of men’s and women’s big air freestyle.
- In addition to being judged on the skill and complexity of their moves, athletes in the men and women’s big air freestyle will also be evaluated on the height and distance of their jumps, per Reuters.
- Schedule: Women’s qualifiers start Feb. 6
- Men’s qualifiers start Feb. 7
Mixed team freestyle skiing aerials: This is the second new event added this year to freestyle skiing, and one of four new mixed events at the Beijing Games.
- In freestyle skiing aerials, athletes take off from constructed ramps and perform jumps in midair, judged on their takeoff, height, distance, form, twisting technique, and landing precision, per NBC News.
- Each team is composed of three skiers, with at least one of each gender, and there will be at least eight teams.
- Schedule: Final starts Feb. 10
Mixed team ski jumping: Ski jumping has been a competition mainstay since the first Winter Olympic games in 1924, and 2022 will see a new mixed team event.
- The event involves athletes skiing down a hill before launching into the air for their jump, which is judged on distance and style. Additional points can be added or detracted depending on wind conditions and the venue’s starting gate, per NBC.
- Each team is made up of two men and two women. Any nation that qualifies two female and two male athletes will be eligible to enter a team into the event.
- Schedule: First round starts Feb. 7
Mixed team snowboard cross: Snowboarding has only been part of the Winter Olympics program since 1998, and this year will see the launch of the mixed team snowboard cross.
- There will be a maximum of 16 teams, with two athletes per team.
- The men will complete the course first, followed by the women, with the first woman to finish first deciding the winning team. The course itself will be characterized by “jumps and tight curves,” per Reuters.
- Schedule: Quarterfinals start Feb. 11