More Olympic cycling medals for women unlikely following IOC decision

Cycling Weekly breaking news logo

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said today that new events could be included in the cycling programme at the 2012 London Olympics, but only if they replaced current ones.

The announcement makes it highly unlikely that we will see more medals awarded to women on the track in London 2012.

The decision of the IOC's Executive Board came after cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), requested more track events for women after the Beijing Games. But the UCI wanted more cycling events rather than a reshuffle, and President Pat McQuaid told Cycling Weekly that it would now be very difficult to make any changes.

"Firstly we'd have to sit down with the IOC and see how they expect us to achieve this," McQuaid said from Moscow where he was watching the junior world track championships. "It would be very difficult to change anything."

"You remember how federations reacted when the kilometre was dropped, no one would thank us for proposing the same thing."

After the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens the UCI pulled the kilometre time trial and the women's 500m time trial from the cycling programme in order to bring BMX in to the Games. The decision was met with an outcry after the multi-federation voting system used raised questions.

There are currently only three track medals available for female competitors (sprint, pursuit and points race) and seven for the male competitors. This compares to 24 and 23 events for male and female competitors in athletics (respectively), and 17 for both men and women in swimming.

Wary of the fall out from cutting any more events from the men's track programme, McQuaid went on to say; "it wouldn't take away from the sporting element to have more women's events, but it would be of serious detriment to the sport if we had to take away from the men's program, and there'd be ramifications all round."

The IOC's press release said:

The three Federations (FILA, FINA, and UCI respectively) submitted requests for new events. The EB informed them that this could happen, especially if the new events increase the participation of women at the Games and on condition that they replace events already on the programme. Additionally, current events can be replaced with new ones only if the total number of athletes is maintained.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.