The Sochi 2014 Sports Program has set an Olympic record with over ten new sports being included in 2014. In total, 12 events have been added to the -program taking the total number of events and sets of medals to 98.
Nine of the 12 new events in the program will feature in one of the first Olympic sports - skiing. Eight types of events have been added to the freestyle skiing and snowboarding programmes (4 in each discipline), including ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle, snowboard slopestyle and snowboard parallel slalom. Team events have been added to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Program in 3 disciplines: figure skating, luge (relay) and biathlon (combined relay).
The Games in Sochi are set to be the most "equal" in the entire history of the Winter Games. A record number of women, around 1200 are due to participate, making up around 45% of the total number of athletes. Women's ski jumping has been included for the first time here in the Sochi.
In total, 50 sets of medals are being contested by men at the Games in Sochi, 43 sets by women and another 5 in events where men and women compete together.
The addition of new events in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Program was carried out in two stages:
• On April 6, 2011, during the 9th SportAccord Annual International Sports Conference, which took place in London (Great Britain), the IOC Executive Board took the decision to add 6 new sports events to the Olympic program: women's ski jumping, team events in figure skating, luge relay, mixed relay in biathlon as well as men and women's ski halfpipe events (freestyle).
• On July 4, 2011, on the eve of the beginning of the 123rd IOC session which took place in Durban (RSA), the IOC Executive Board took the decision to add another 6 events to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Program: male and female snowboard slopestyle (snowboard), male and female ski slopestyle (freestyle), and male and female parallel slalom (snowboard).
As a result, the total number of types of events and sets of medals in the program reached 98, of which 29 will be competed in the Coastal Cluster and 69 in Mountain cluster.
Brief description of new types of events in the Sochi 2014 Olympic program
Women's ski jumping
Individual women's ski jumping competitions from the smaller ski jump (K-95). One set of medals will be awarded. The format is the same as for the men’s competitions: 3 rounds: qualifying, first and final. The winner is the competitor with the maximum score at the end of all three rounds.
Figure skating team events
The figure skating team events are competitions between the best national teams. Each team may have one sports pair and one dance pair, one singles figure skating man and one singles figure skating woman.
Representatives from the singles and pairs skating perform a short and free program; in ice dancing they perform a short and free dance. The 10 best teams in the world take part in the short team skating event program. Only five teams get through to the free program based on their results in the short program.
Luge – team relay
The composition of teams from each country: One woman (single luge), one man (single luge) and men in double luges. The rder of runs for each team is women’s single luge, men’s single luge and then the men’s pair.
At the finish, the athlete must hit the touch pad, which opens the start gate for the second sled, all of this without the time stopping. As soon as the third member of the team reaches the touch pad, the time stops and the overall time for the relay team is determined (from the start of the first team to the finish of the last team).
Freestyle ski halfpipe (men & women)
Athletes perform on a slope (a half pipe) on freestyle skis, performing various tricks - somersaults, flips, grips and pirouettes.
The event format is as follows: qualifying and final rounds, with two runs per athlete in each round. Places are determined according to the total number of points in the final.
Biathlon – mixed relay
Each national team consists of 4 athletes: two women and two men. Women ski 6 km and men 7.5 km in the following order: woman, woman, man and then the final male competitor.
Each athlete shoots twice (lying and standing), with three spare bullets at each shooting range. There is a 150 m long penalty loop for each miss.
Snowboard – snowboard-slopestyle
Athletes perform on a slope with various obstacles: rails, quarter pipes and jumps. Technical characteristics of the slope are included in the FIS rules.
The event format is as follows: an elimination system with semi-finals and finals with two runs in each round. The total number of participants in the final is 12, the best result determines the winner.
Freestyle – ski-slopestyle
Athletes perform on a slope with various obstacles: rails, quarter pipes and jumps. The technical characteristics of the course are dictated by the rules of the International Ski Federation. The event format is as follows: an elimination system, with semifinals and finals, with two runs in each round. The top finisher wins.
Snowboard parallel slalom
Two athletes descend parallel courses marked with blue and red flags. The athlete who covers the distance the fastest while following the course rules (about trajectories, fines, etc.) wins.
The courses must match each other as much as possible in terms of relief, snow cover, number of turns, and other factors.
The event format is as follows: competitors go through two qualification runs before reaching the final runs, with two attempts on the red and blue slopes. Following the first qualification run, 16 men and women are determined with the best course results on the first run. In the second qualification run (elimination run), all participants change courses and compete again for the best course completion times. Following two qualification rounds, the 16 best reach the final elimination runs: 1/8, 1/4, semi-final and final.