Ski Orienteering at the Winter Olympics

Ski Orienteering has never been an official sport at the Winter Olympics, although fans of the sport would like it to be one day.

The closest the sport has come to being part of the Olympic Games was the Sanada Town Sugadaira Highlands International Ski Orienteering Tournament, held from January 29th to 31st, 1998, just days before the Winter Olympics in Nagano. A Ski Orienteering World Cup event was also planned to be held at the Olympic Cross-Country/Biathlon Stadium a week or two before the formal opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

Ski OrienteeringSki Orienteering in Nagano (from Sanada Town Page)

The International Orienteering Federation applied unsuccessfully for ski orienteering to be included in the program of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and continues to lobby the IOC for possible future inclusion. Its chances have been buoyed by the inclusion of ski orienteering into the Asian Winter Games (in 2011), the Winter World University Games and the CISM World Military Winter Games.

The sport of ski orienteering continues to grow in popularity and may one day find its way onto the Olympic program. An analysis by Bliznevskiy et al. (2016) concluded that ski orienteering is best placed for inclusion as a new sport.

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