Change In Olympics Participation Quota Threatens Top Alpine Ski Nations
The top Alpine ski nations "are upset four months ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games because the participation quota has changed in favor of 'smaller' nations," according to Ö24. Countries such as Austria and the U.S. "are threatened with reduced team sizes for the Games in the Russian Black Sea resort city." The Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV) "would be hit especially hard." The ÖSV, which previously always had the maximum number of 22 Alpine skiers in its Olympic team, "would be only able to nominate 15." The reason for the new quota is the IOC and Int'l Ski Federation's (FIS) "wish to have more nations participate at the Olympics." Of the 1,319 FIS spots for the Olympics, 320 go to Alpine skiers. The maximum quota of 22 Alpine skiers "remains unchanged, however, due to multiple qualification systems it has become easier for smaller nations to get extra spots since July '12." In addition, the requirement of previous World Championship participation "has been removed" (Ö24, 10/1).