I am wondering on why the structures for some sports are completely different to others. Especially, why it is that in most winter sports, like downhill skiing, cross-country skiing or bobsleigh athletes always compete internationally for their respective country. In most other sports like football or cycling you do have individual teams or clubs competing on a national and international level and also additional national teams.

Is this based on historical reasons or why don't we have something like a team or club structure in some sports, mostly Olympic sports probably.

1 Answer 1


This comes down to money more than anything else.

Winter sports are typically funded by national organisations, who understandably fund their national athletes. To a very real extent, this is because outside a few Nordic and Alpine countries, winter sports aren't capable of generating enough independent money to fund a professional team.

Men's football obviously generates vast amounts of independent income, whether that be from television rights, direct ticket sales or sponsorship. Women's football is in a slightly different position, and it is notable that the Olympic women's football tournament is a fully open and highly prestigious tournament as opposed to the men's tournament which is an under 23s tournament and not a top concern for professionals. Similarly, cycling is capable of generating its own independent sponsorship so ends up with international teams.

Similarly, cycling generates its own independent sponsorship so features multi-national teams.

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