But they’re doing everything they can to keep this from happening.
Who are “they?”
The International Olympic Committee, otherwise known as the IOC..
I’ve blogged about this three times already: first on December 8, 2006, and then on January 17, 2008, May 31, 2008, and November 12, 2009. And things still haven’t changed.
HEY IOC, WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME???
In a nutshell, here’s the deal:
Ski jumping is the only event in the Summer and Winter Games in which the IOC doesn’t allow women to compete. The IOC justifies that decision with reasons ranging from “ski jumping is bad for women’s bodies from a medical point of view,” to “women’s ski jumping lacks universality.”
Last year, nearly 100 women competed in FIS-sanctioned ski-jump competitions. There are at least 30 top-tier jumpers from 11 different nations — numbers equivalent to Olympic women’s bobsled stats — and by the time the 2014 Olympics roll around, several more world championships will have taken place. Women’s Ski Cross, which was accepted by the IOC for inclusion in Vancouver 2010, has half the number of athletes, competing in less than half the number of competitions on just one continent.
Fifteen former and current women ski jumpers sued the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee over their sport’s exclusion from the 2010 Winter Olympics, to no avail. A sad conclusion. And now, despite being ranked second in the world and boasting the current reigning World Champion and Junior World Championship bronze medalist, the US team has lost its funding from the US Ski and Snowboard Association. Without that funding, the team won’t be able to survive.
But wait — there’s hope: The US Women’s Ski Jumping Team and its supporting foundation, Women’s Ski Jumping USA (WSJ-USA), are hosting a second-annual fundraiser July 14 at the SKI Magazine Dream Home at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Money raised will help the team continue to train and compete in preparation for the 2011 World Championships in Oslo, Norway and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where they hope to have women’s ski jumping added as a medal event.
You can find out more about this event by going here. And while you’re at the site, how about spotting them a few bucks? These women deserve the chance to compete. Let’s do what we can to let the women jump.