Freestyle skiing big air is among the disciplines added to Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Women's monobob, freestyle skiing big air and four mixed team events are among the seven new disciplines added to the programme for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, it was announced here today.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board confirmed mixed team competitions in snowboard cross, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing aerials and ski jumping would feature at the Games in the Chinese capital.

They have been included along with skiing big air for men and women and a women's monobob event.

Women's Nordic combined and six luge disciplines - women’s doubles, sprint for women, men and doubles, and natural track luge for men and women - failed with their respective bids for a place on the programme, as did telemark skiing.

The other skiing events which did not gain a place at Beijing 2022 also included a snowboard Alpine mixed team parallel event and snowboard parallel slalom.

The IOC turned down a request to have synchronised skating, a form of figure skating where teams of between eight and 20 athletes compete together as one team, included.

A team event proposed by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), consisting of male and female skeleton events as well as a two-man bobsleigh and women's bobsleigh, was also rejected, along with a single mixed relay put forward by the International Biathlon Union (IBU).

IOC sports director Kit McConnell revealed women's Nordic combined was turned down as the sport required "further development" in areas including competitiveness and the amount of countries who actively compete in the discipline to be considered.

McConnell claimed, however, that extensive discussions had taken place regarding the event - one of only two across the entire Summer and Winter Olympic programme which is only practised by men - during the meeting.

The IBSF Executive Committee voted in favour of including four-woman bobsleigh rather than monobob - one person bobsleigh - which President Ivo Ferriani was thought to prefer, earlier this year.

McConnell said monobob was chosen over the four-woman event as it is cheaper to run and there were "not many countries" actively competing in it.

Cost of access, development and universality were cited as key factors in the decision to select monobob, which featured at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer and is on the programme for the next edition of the Games in Lausanne in 2020, over the four-woman event.

Women's monobob has been added to the Beijing 2022 programme by the IOC ©Getty Images
Women's monobob has been added to the Beijing 2022 programme by the IOC ©Getty Images

"When we balanced it out we felt there would be more universality," McConnell said here.

"It has a better development pathway and investment pathway and it is more expensive to run a four-woman bobsleigh, but that doesn't mean it cannot develop."

Skiing big air's inclusion follows the successful debut of the snowboard equivalent at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

The addition of mixed team events, widely expected, comes as part of an IOC push for gender equality at the Olympic Games.

The confirmation from the IOC Executive Board today means there will be 109 events at Beijing 2022, an increase of seven compared with Pyeongchang 2018.

There are 51 competitions for men, 46 for women and 12 mixed events.

The IOC have also reduced the number of athletes from 2,933 at Pyeongchang 2018 to 2,892 - 45.44 per cent of which are women - at Beijing 2022.

It is claimed Beijing 2022 will have the highest overall gender balance at a Winter Olympics.

A total of 20 athletes have been cut from biathlon's quota but McConnell insisted this was not a punishment for the IBU's corruption scandal involving former President Anders Besseberg and former secretary general Nicole Resch.

He highlighted that the IBU had been granted an extra event at Sochi 2014 and also enjoyed a quota increase for Pyeongchang 2018.

A total of 12 men have been exchanged for 12 women in skeleton to achieve "gender balance", while curling has been granted an additional four athletes for the mixed doubles tournament.

Two teams have also been added in women's ice hockey, while the number of athletes in luge, skating and skiing has been reduced.