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IOC Approves Four New Winter Olympic Events

Today the IOC announced the approval of four new events to debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Two of them seem to take their cues directly from the X Games:

  • Mass-start speed skating, where every competitor starts in a pack and has to jostle and shove for position. It’s been part of the World Cup for a few years now, and results in more physicality and more falls and, hopefully, more pissed-off losers and more grudges.
  • Big air snowboarding, in which competitors hit one giant ramp and do the best trick they can. (A big air event for skiiers was proposed but not approved.)
  • A team skiing event, in which teams of two men and two women will compete on parallel slalom tracks.
  • Mixed-doubles curling, which will involve teams of one man and one woman—and six stones instead of the usual eight.

Snowboard parallel slalom has been dropped from the Olympic program.

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