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Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics add seven new events

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Seven new events were added to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic program:

Women’s monobobsled
Short track mixed team relay
Ski jumping mixed team event
Freestyle skiing big air (men and women)
Aerials mixed team event
Snowboard cross mixed team event

The additions bring the Winter Olympic total number of events to 109, an all-time high and nearly double the amount of events at the 1992 Winter Games.

The number of women’s hockey teams will increase from eight to 10 in 2022, but the overall number of athletes is expected to be fewer than the 2,933 in PyeongChang. The International Olympic Committee said athlete quotas will decrease in some sports, but no events have been contracted. Alpine skiing’s super combined events are still under review as to whether they will remain in the Olympic program.

The IOC said the Winter Olympics will have its highest-ever gender balance in 2022, rising from 41 percent female athletes to more than 45 percent.

The IOC had a “long discussion” about adding a women’s event in Nordic combined, the only sport without a women’s event in the Winter Games, IOC sports director Kit McConnell said.

“Nordic combined, and women’s in particular, still need to be developed further in terms of universality [the number of countries with Olympic-level athletes], in terms of the level of the athletes,” McConnell said.

The IOC also weighed whether to add a four-woman bobsled event rather than women’s monobobsled. The Games have two-man and two-woman events and a four-man event.

McConnell said the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation was “very supportive” of monobob, in part because it is already on the Youth Olympic program.

“Woman’s four-man bob costs three or four times of monobob,” McConnell said. “We felt there would be more universality in the women’s monobob. We really didn’t see more than a handful of countries really developing women’s four-man programs because of the costs involved.”

Beijing will mark the third straight Winter Olympics to add mixed-gender events. In 2014, mixed relays in biathlon and luge debuted, as well as the figure skating team event. In PyeongChang, a mixed Alpine skiing team event and mixed doubles curling debuted.

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Best ski jumping (and mustache) moments from PyeongChang

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The one ski jumping image you’ll probably remember from the PyeongChang Games is Robert Johansson’s stellar mustache. And rightfully so, but there was also some terrific, nail-biting action. History was made and medals were won. Take a look back at the best ski jumping moments from the 2018 Winter Games.

Don’t count out the ‘stache
You’ll remember Johansson’s mustache but will you remember his ski jumping?

Turns out he’s pretty good on the hills, too. Johansson won three medals in PyeongChang. He and Germany’s Andreas Wellinger became just the seventh and eighth athletes to ever medal in all three ski jumping events. After taking the bronze in the normal and large hill events, Johansson finally claimed the gold, leading Norway to the team large hill top spot.

Japan’s Noriaki Kasai makes Olympic history
Kasai earned 117.7 points for his jump in the normal hill qualifiers. Seems pretty uneventful but with tthat jump, Kasai officially made his record eighth Winter Olympics appearance.

King Kamil repeats
Poland’s Kamil Stoch, after finishing fourth in the normal hill, defended his large hill crown with an impressive final jump to edge out Wellinger.

Click here to see all the best from this year’s Olympic ski jumping

 

Casey Larson goes down in the history books in PyeongChang

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Ski jumper Casey Larson is competing in his first Olympic Games but he is already collecting accolades. The U.S. athlete has been named the 100,000th man to compete in the Olympics in the 122-year history of the modern games.

The teenager found out about his title just hours before competing in his first run, the qualifying round for the normal hill event. What could have been seen as added pressure turned out to be interesting information for the 19-year-old.

NBCOlymipcs.com: All 4 U.S. men advance in normal hill qualifiers

“I was told just before the press conference this morning,” Larson said after progressing to Saturday’s final round. “It is pretty cool, I can add that to my Olympic checklist. I hope I can get some publicity about it. For my goals here, it is to make my best jump.”

Learning his unique status as the 100,000th man wouldn’t be possible without Olympic historian Bill Mallon, a renowned chronicler of the Olympics. He conducted an in-depth research process, across both Summer and Winter Games, to figure out when the milestone would be reached in competition.

He calculated that going into the PyeongChang Games, 99,983 men had competed since the first Olympiad in Athens. That meant the 17th man to compete in this year’s Games would earn the title and make history.

After six new Olympians competed in mixed doubles curling on Thursday morning, Larson was scheduled to start as number 16, but the 11th new Olympian, in his event was destined to set the milestone.

NBCOlympics.com: Noriaki Kasai sets record with eighth winter Olympics appearance

Larson wants to use the occasion to propel him to new heights.

“Just to get to the Olympics is awesome enough, but to be told you’ll be the 100,000th is really cool. I’m going to enjoy it any way I can, hopefully by producing my best jump ever.”

Flying through the air for 100 meters is a hard enough task, so the teenager wants to make sure the momentous occasion doesn’t distract him before his jump.

“I worked super hard to get to the Olympics, but I can’t afford to think about it when I’m standing up there, ready to jump.”

Larson is one of four U.S. ski jumpers competing in PyeongChang. The 19-year-old finished 46th overall in the qualifying round. He will compete alongside countrymen Mike Glasder, Will Rhoads, and Kevin Bickner in the finals on Saturday. Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, Larson is keeping it all in perspective.

“And when I was told about the 100k thing, I thought, ‘Not bad at 19’. That’s really wild.”