Last month FIS Congress members voted in favor of telemark skiing for inclusion in the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing 2022.
The two telemark race formats proposed, parallel sprint and mixed-gender team parallel sprint, have been formally recommended by the FIS to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC Executive Board will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland over the 18 and 19 of July where they will discuss the addition of new events to be competed in Beijing in 2022. Shortly after, a decision will be made as to whether telemark will be included in the Olympic program in 2022.
Telemark is the world’s oldest wintersports discipline and remains as relevant today as it did when it was first conceived in Norway 150 years ago. Today, the sport is pushing boundaries and attracting younger and more diverse participants and audiences around the globe.
Since 2004, the sport has seen exponential growth in maturity and in participation. The FIS Telemark World Cup has observed a 40-percent increase in the number of regular competitors and continues to attract athletes from more than 17 national ski associations and has large followings at the recreational level.
Telemark is also widely considered to be one of the most innovative and progressive disciplines under the FIS umbrella. As a pledge to increase youth participation in 2011, the FIS Telemark Committee took the decision to stage the Junior World Championships annually, rather than bi-annually. Youth interest soared as a result and the initiative drove wider national youth development programs. In 2014, telemark was also one of the first FIS disciplines to invest in live streaming of World Cup events and now, every year, hundreds of thousands of avid sports enthusiasts follow the Telemark World Cup circuit through real-time content.
Dave Pym, Managing Director and CEO of Canadian Snowsports, who, on behalf of Canada, submitted the original proposal at the FIS Congress last month, commented, “Following the successful proposal at Congress in May, we’re delighted telemark will now be recommended, by FIS to the IOC, for inclusion into the Olympic Winter program – the very pinnacle of international sports”.
“This is a huge milestone for telemark,” added Andrew Clarke, Chairman of the FIS Telemark Committee and former British Team Captain and racer. “We have made huge leaps in the last six years and we’re now ready to take telemark to the Olympics.”
Release courtesy of GB Telemark.