SYDNEY (Reuters) – Women are set to win three-quarters of Italy’s medals in Beijing next February at the Winter Games with the smallest gender gap in history, according to Nielsen’s Gracenote analysis.
Women were only able to compete in two events at the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924, both in figure skating and one, the mixed pairs, where they had to be accompanied by a man.
The gender gap has gradually narrowed over the past three decades, and with the addition of a second women’s bobsleigh event for 2022, 12 of Beijing’s 15 disciplines will offer equal chances of medals for both sexes. .
Nordic Combined, which involves cross-country skiing and ski jumping, is the only sport without female participation, although the International Ski Federation (FIS) intends to break this final barrier at the 2026 Games in Italy.
From an 81.3% gender gap in Chamonix in 1924, the chances of women winning medals will be only 5.5% lower than those of men in Beijing.
Italy is set to win 12 medals in Beijing in Wednesday’s latest Gracenote predictions update, with the women claiming nine.
Women will also account for more than half of the medals won by Sweden, the host United States, China and the Netherlands, according to forecasts.
The dearth of competitive data available on some athletes due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led Gracenote to release updates to its planned medal table as the winter sports season continues. was progressing.
Norway are still expected to retain first place with 21 gold medals, ahead of Germany (12) and the Russian Olympic Committee (11).
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)