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IOC Adds Women's Ski Jumping to 2014 Winter Olympics

Ski Jumping

Feb. 25: Elena Runggaldier of Italy jumps during the women's ski jumping individual normal hill final at the Nordic Ski World Championships in Oslo. (Reuters)

LONDON – The IOC approved the inclusion of women's ski jumping and four other new events for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The International Olympic Committee executive board also approved ski halfpipe, mixed relay in biathlon and team events in luge and figure skating on Wednesday.

Proposals for inclusion of slopestyle events in snowboard and freestyle skiing and a team Alpine skiing event were put on hold for further review, the IOC said.

The IOC twice rejected women's ski jumping for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, saying the sport lacked enough elite competitors. Women jumpers took their case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, but failed to overturn the IOC decision.

The women seemingly sealed their case at the Nordic world championships in Oslo in March, when competitors jumped in heavy fog and strong wind. IOC board member Gerhard Heiberg of Norway said he was impressed by the level of competition and would recommend the event's inclusion to IOC President Jacques Rogge.

Ski jumping and Nordic combined, which features ski jumping and cross-country skiing, had been the only Winter Olympic events open only to men.

The IOC said in October that it "looked favorably" on all the proposed events but postponed a ruling until after the various world championships this winter.

Officials said Wednesday more time was needed to study the technical aspects of the slopestyle and Alpine team events, but they could still be added to the Sochi program.

In slopestyle, athletes do tricks while going down the mountain and through "features" — rails, big jumps and bumps. American snowboard star Shaun White, who won halfpipe gold in Vancouver, has said he would like to add slopestyle to his schedule if it's approved for Sochi.

Ski slopestyle is similar to the snowboard version.

In ski halfpipe, skiers score points for performing tricks and jumps on the same course used for the snowboard halfpipe.