New Olympic events in 2026 present new opportunities for Parkites
Dual moguls, women’s large hill ski jumping among events debuting in Italy
The addition of several new events at the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, will give Park City athletes more opportunities to compete.
The International Olympic Committee announced last week that eight new events would appear in Italy in 2026. Ski mountaineering, a new Olympic sport, will have three events: a men’s sprint, a women’s sprint and a mixed relay. Other changes include turning the open doubles luge event into separate men’s and women’s events, adding a mixed team event in skeleton and removing the alpine skiing team event.
But current Park City athletes will also benefit from other additions to the 2026 Games: dual moguls events for both men and women and women’s large hill ski jumping.
Dual moguls competitions feature two athletes going down the course simultaneously competing in a knockout format. Skiers have been competing in both moguls and dual moguls events on the World Cup and at the world championships, but 2026 will be the first time that the discipline will reach the Olympic stage.
Park City moguls skiers Nick Page and Cole McDonald both competed in Beijing this year. Page finished fifth, while McDonald came in 14th. With the addition of dual moguls, both skiers have another opportunity to compete for an Olympic medal.
Moguls skiers also competed for a dual moguls Crystal Globe for the first time on the World Cup last season. There are seven dual moguls events on the 2022-23 World Cup slate, including one at Deer Valley in early February.
McDonald had a big year in dual moguls in his first year on the World Cup tour, finishing fifth in the dual moguls standings. His best finish in any World Cup event last season was a fourth-place result in a dual moguls event in France last December.
“Growing up, duals was kind of my main event,” McDonald said. “I’ve done better in duals just because everything just happens more naturally for me, and I just kind of go with the flow and push myself.”
McDonald added that he had hoped that dual moguls would eventually get added to the Games. He believes that there’s a big difference between the two events.
“Honestly, it’s a completely different sport than single moguls,” he said. “There’s so many different factors that go into it, and there’s a whole different strategy. And I think that’s going to be something that’s really sweet for me in the future.”
“I think the closest thing I could relate it to is if you were going to play stroke play versus match play in golf,” Page added. “You’ve got someone right next to you breathing down your neck. Your only goal is to beat them, and that’s the whole thing.”
Page struggled in dual moguls compared to his moguls results – he finished eighth in the moguls standings but 17th in dual moguls. However, he did take home a gold medal at the junior world championships in dual moguls in March.
“The excitement’s so high,” he said. “You have some of the biggest, fastest runs, you have some of the best jumping, the best skiing and also some of the biggest crashes. Because everyone steps into that starting gate ready to go and try to win at all costs.”
Meanwhile, Park City ski jumper Paige Jones is excited about the addition of women’s large hill ski jumping for the 2026 Games. Women’s ski jumping wasn’t added to the Games until 2014 with the normal hill event, and the sport has grown tremendously in recent years.
“I remember watching the first Olympics that women got added to, and I was just starting to get into ski jumping and super excited about it,” Jones said. “To see that progression as I also progressed through the sport has been inspiring, almost. To kind of see these women who are a lot older than me fighting for equality and fighting for the younger women like me to be able to have the chances that they wish they had their whole lives.”
Adding the large hill event gets the women closer to competing in the same number of events as the men. Women can compete in three ski jumping events at the Olympics now compared to the men’s four – the men have a team event that the women do not currently have. The IOC stated that it had a “strong focus on gender equality in terms of events and female athlete quotas” in a release, though the IOC also passed on adding women’s Nordic combined to the 2026 Games.
Still, it’s a step forward for women’s ski jumping and one that Jones is more than happy to participate in.
“We had a large hill event at world championships in 2020, and I feel like that next natural step would be adding the large hill event to the Olympics,” Jones said. “It’s good to see that progression, and it’s good to see that the IOC is recognizing how well women are doing on large hills right now in the World Cup circuit. I’m really excited about it and I think it’s a good inclusion and a necessary inclusion.”
The Miners now have two matches left in the regular season, before they head into region and state tournament play.
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