Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race
Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.
For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.
The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.
In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”
Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.
This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.
L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.
“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.
Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.
The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.
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