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2026 Winter Olympics
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

These sports should be added for the 2026 Winter Olympics

2026 Winter Olympics
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

These sports should be added for the 2026 Winter Olympics

There were seven sports that made their Olympic debut at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but there are still some sports left out that should be considered for the 2026 Winter Olympics. The 2026 Winter Olympics are going to be hosted in Italy between the cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. The latter city will be hosting for the second time after hosting the Winter Olympics in 1956 while it will be the first time that Milan will host any Olympics summer or winter. So far only one new sport has been added to the program for 2026 and that sport is ski mountaineering. Ski mountaineering will become the 16th discipline competed in and will be made up of five events, men’s individual and sprint, women’s individual and sprint, and a mixed relay event. In this newly included sport, athletes will be seen skiing up and down a mountain while also having to carry their skis while hiking up in some cases. Skimo as it is also called should be a good addition to the Winter Olympics, but there are a few other sports that should also be included.

Speed Skiing

The premise of speed skiing is to go straight down a mountain as fast as you can. The world record for speed skiing was set in 2016 by Ivan Origone. He set the record of 158.42 mph in the Alps in France. While the sport itself is pretty intense and one for adrenaline junkies the training is the best part of speed skiing. Since the competitors would be going nearly 160 mph the only way to get used to moving at that speed is to strap a pair of skis to the top of a car and go from there. Speed skiing is one of the sports on this list that has been part of the Olympics in the past but has since been removed. At the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France speed skiing was a demonstration event and won by a Frenchman, Michael Prufer, with a speed of 142.480 mph. It was a short run for speed skiing as after the 1992 Games the sport was no longer included in any Winter Olympics due to being far too dangerous which makes complete sense considering there have been a number of deaths to people in speed skiing including Swiss speed skier Nicholas Bochatay who died after crashing in practice the day before the Olympic final in 1992. While it is understandable why speed skiing was removed from the Olympic program it would be a good event to bring back for the 2026 Winter Olympics because the speed alone would get the crowd into the sport. Also, it is just another sport that has nothing like it in the Olympics yet, but maybe this would be a better X Games event.

Ski Ballet

The best way to describe ski ballet is to think of figure skating and how those competitors jump and spin during a timed routine except now put the athletes on skis instead of ice skates. Ski ballet was another Olympic demonstration event that was competed in at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada and the 1992 Albertville Games but stopped after 1992 and has pretty much died completely as a sport since then. However, in those two Olympics ski ballet became a sport that is still talked about today as one of the weirder to watch just because it is skiing unlike anything that goes on today. It is a very graceful sport considering there are long skis attached to the skier’s feet and even includes flips and jumps from near flat ground.

Skijoring

In the Summer Olympics, there are events involving horses with all the equestrian events that take place. That’s why skijoring should be brought back for the 2026 Winter Olympics. Skijoring is a sport where a skier or snowboarder is pulled by a dog or horse. Since the Summer Olympics have their sport with animals it is only right that the Winter Olympics get one as well. The type of race changes depending on if the skier is being pulled by a dog or a horse. When it is dog skijoring the race is similar to a cross-country skiing race, but when it is horse skijoring it is more like a slalom sprint where the skier holds onto a rope attached to a horse and weaves around gates and off jumps. Skijoring was demonstrated at the 1928 Winter Olympics in Switzerland. In these Games, the skier was pulled by a horse and the podium was swept by three men from Switzerland. Unfortunately, this was the only Olympics that included skijoring. Hopefully, this will make a return to the Winter Olympics eventually as it does still get competed in.

Ice Cross

This event most often competed in the form of Red Bull Crashed Ice. In this sport four skaters race around a downhill ice course. This is a very action-packed sport and the course is similar to that of ski and snowboard cross. Ice cross could add a new spin on speed skating, a sport that has been in every Winter Olympics. This could also be competed in at the Olympics because it is regularly played and even has the ATSX Ice Cross World Championship.

Knuckle Huck

Knuckle Huck is a ski and snowboard event in which the athletes jump off the knuckle part of the jump and do a trick. This is an event that is only ever competed in at the X Games but is one of the most exciting events to watch in the X Games. The popularity in Knuckle Huck at the X Games comes in part because it allows for a lot more creativity than you would see in the other events. This would be a good event to add to the 2026 Winter Olympics because it would be very fun to see and would allow for a few more people to compete from skiing and snowboarding that wouldn’t be in the Olympics otherwise and show off their style as this is a much more stylish event.

Shovel Racing

This is a sport that would just be fun to see competed in at the 2026 Winter Olympics. Shovel racing is exactly what it sounds like with competitors sitting on the blade of a shovel while sliding down a hill racing each other. Sounds like a great time if you ask me. This had never been an Olympic sport, not surprisingly, but it was competed in at the first Winter X Games in 1997. Shovel racing originated in New Mexico and still was competed in until 2020. Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico had hosted the World Championships of Shovel Racing for 40 years until its recent demise. This should be included in the 2026 Winter Olympics because there is already a basis for it and must be big enough of a sport since there was a World Championship for it.

Honorable Mention

Chinese Downhill

Brought to fame in the 1984 movie Hot Dog…The Movie Chinese Downhill is a competition where a mass start of skiers race each other down the mountain with the only rule being that there are no rules. In the movie, Chinese Downhill is used to settle a disagreement and shows the competitors wearing pads similar to those in hockey or football. Chinese Downhill may not be the safest of sports to do (probably why it has not made an Olympic appearance yet), but it would be a good sport for people to watch that are looking for a little bit more chaos and action.

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