Sport is expected to lead the way in Italy as the gender gap narrows during the Winter Games

According to Nielsen’s Gracenote analysis, women are expected to win three-quarters of the Italian medals at the Winter Games in February in Beijing with the smallest gender gap in history. At the first Winter Olympics in 1924, women could only participate in two events, either in figure skating or in one of the mixed pairs, because they needed a man to participate.

The gender gap has steadily narrowed over the past three decades, and with the addition of a second women’s bobsleigh event in 2022, 12 of Beijing’s 15 majors will provide equal opportunities for medals for both genders.

Nordic combined sport, which includes cross-country skiing and snowboarding, is the only sport without women’s participation, although the International Ski Federation (FIS) has plans to break the last barrier during the 2026 Games in Italy.

From the 81.3% gender gap in Chamonix in 1924, women are said to have only 5.5% lower odds of winning medals than men in Beijing.

Italy is expected to win 12 medals in Beijing in the latest update on Wednesday of Gracenote’s forecast, with women winning nine.

Women are also expected to win more than half of the medals won by Sweden, the United States, host China, and the Netherlands.

The lack of available competitive data on some athletes due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led Gracenote to release updates to its projected medal table as the winter sports season progresses.

Norway is still expected to take first place with 21 golds, ahead of Germany (12) and the Russian Olympic Committee (11).

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