More than ever, Nordic Combined has to fear for its place in the Olympics.
"To be clear - the men's place for 2030 is not guaranteed," said IOC sports director Kit McConnell in the "Sportschau" interview. The Australian wanted to see a clear development here in terms of popularity and a broader peak.
Women 2026 not in the Olympa program
The women who had hoped to be at the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina never even made it into the Olympic program. Combiner Svenja Würth spoke of a "slap in the face" on ARD. The development of women would be slowed down, said Horst Hüttel, the sports director of the Nordic Combined in the German Ski Association, because non-Olympic sports would receive less financial support.
Since the IOC demands gender equality, "we really have to be concerned," said Beijing Olympic champion Vinzenz Geiger. He can hardly imagine that "in 2030 only men will be there again, but not women". There has been a women's world cup since 2020. The men have been there since the first Winter Games in 1924. The season opener takes place next week in Ruka, Finland.
Fis hopes for reforms
IOC Sports Director McConnell calculated that 27 medals had been awarded in Nordic Combined at the last three Winter Games, with only four different nations winning precious metals. In addition, the sport - from a global perspective - received the least media attention at the games in Beijing - in terms of television and digital distribution.
"We are openly discussing this with the International Ski Federation - also in the context of the 2030 Olympic Games. Because the men are already preparing for 2026, we have decided to leave the men in the Olympic program for 2026," said McConnell.
The Ski World Association Fis is trying to avert the Olympics with reforms. According to DSV sports director Hüttel, the five top nations Austria, Norway, Finland, Japan and Germany have agreed to cooperate with other nations and pass on their knowledge. In addition, the DSV is striving for cooperation with the Netherlands - a completely new nation in Nordic combined - and Italy. A new concept for the 2023/24 season is also being discussed.