Posted by Editoress on 04/1/14
After years of lobbying by the UCI, the International Olympic Committee has added cycling to the Winter Olympics program. The chosen discipline is not cyclo-cross, however, but fat biking.
"According to the Olympic Charter, winter sports are those that take place on snow or ice," explained IOC president Thomas Bach. "Although cyclo-cross races do sometimes happen in wintry conditions, they usually don't. Fat biking, on the other hand, is all about riding in the snow, so it's a no-brainer for including in the next Winter Games in South Korea."
UCI president Brian Cookson was quick to applaud the IOC's decision. "This is a great moment for cycling, and fat biking in particular. It's no coincidence that the IOC has chosen to include the fastest-growing segment of the bike industry in the Olympics, just as they did in 1996 with the inclusion of cross-country mountain biking. They want to be seen as cutting-edge in order to appeal to the youth demographic that advertisers crave."
The fat bike competition for men and women will require little extra infrastructure, since the plan is to build the competition track in conjunction with the Nordic skiing facilities. Details such as race distances, qualification process, etc. are yet to be determined, however, the UCI says that there is no truth to the rumours that a biathlon version is also under consideration. "We won't be letting mountain bikers near guns anytime soon," was an off-the-record comment from a UCI staffer.
In a related move, the IOC also announced that it has purchased a controlling interest in the X Games, owned by U.S. broadcaster ESPN. "We want to smooth out our revenue stream," said Bach. "Instead of spiking every two years, this will see us fleecing sponsors on an annual basis."
The X Games will hereafter be known as the Xtreme OlympiX.
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