The International Olympic Committe has approved three new alpine events for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Games will now include ski and snowboard slopestyle, and parallel snowboard slalom, a nine-round, head-to-head compition between two snowboarders. Parallel giant slalom debuted at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, but slalom is new. In April, The IOC also announced that ski halfpipe, team figure skating, luge relay, mixed biathlon relay, and—after a long wait—women's ski jumping had made the cut. The announcements signal IOC officials' continued willingness to include non-mainstream sports into the games. "Such events provide great entertainment for the spectators and add further youthful appeal to our already action-packed line-up of Olympic winter sports," said IOC head Jaques Rogge. Eight sports, including climbing and karate, also made a short list for the 2020 summer games, though final voting will not take place until 2013. The IOC is meeting in South Africa this week to select a location for the 2018 winter Olympics. Munich, Germany; Annecy, France; and Pyeongchang, South Korea, the favorite, are in the running.
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