Big air in snowboarding, big air in freestyle skiing, mass start in speedskating and mixed doubles in curling were approved during the IOC's board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday. The new events were proposed for inclusion by the respective federations before this week's meeting.
The new events are aimed at adding more excitement to the Games as the IOC and each sport's federation look to become more appealing to younger audiences. In addition, the IOC said the new events will help bolster participation by women in the Winter Olympics.
“The changes reflect the continued evolution of the Winter Olympic program and build on the success of recent editions of the games,” the IOC said in a statement. “They also build on the reforms outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, which aim to create more flexibility into the Olympic program of the Olympic Games.”
The IOC also chose to remove the snowboard parallel slalom from the Olympic program.
Olympic rules allow for events to be added or dropped three years prior to the start of the Olympic Games.
With the events for the 2018 Winter Olympics set, the IOC will focus its attention on which disciplines to include in the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Under new guidelines, Japanese Olympic organizers can propose the addition of one or more sports. Baseball and softball, which were excluded from the Olympics after 2008, are considered to be among the favorites.
The IOC will make a final decision regarding 2020 events in August 2016.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.