Friday, 28 February 2014

Why Weren't Women Allowed To Compete in Olympic Ski Jumps?

by Will Hall


Why women haven't been allowed to compete in the ski jump event at the Winter Olympics until Sochi 2014.
Women can currently compete in other ski jump tournaments and competitions, but they have been hitherto been denied the event at the Winter Olympics. They have signed petitions for the event since the Nagano Olympics in 1998, but all of them have been unsuccessful. In 1991, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced that all new events being added to the games in the future must be open to both men and women. However, this rule did not apply to any events that already took place at the games.

This seemed a little strange that the IOC wouldn’t allow women to ski jump as, in my opinion, there was no ‘valid’ reason for this. Some new sports were added to the games in 2010, two of which are called ski cross and snowboard cross. Fewer female athletes competed in ski and snowboard cross than in ski jump in 2010, so it would sound like a good idea to open up ski jump to women.
One of the reasons that women’s ski jump supposedly has been disallowed is that ‘there are only so many athletes that the locations can accommodate for’ at the Olympics. A member of the IOC said women shouldn’t be allowed to compete because the sport ‘seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view’.
These reasons put forward from the IOC were ludicrous and women’s ski jumping should have been added to the Olympics a long time ago. The IOC started to seriously think about adding the event in 2009, by which time it was too late to feature in the Vancouver Winter Olympics as the schedules had already been established.

As you will probably know, women’s ski jumping was finally brought in to the Sochi 2014 games and the gold medal was awarded to Germany with Austria gaining silver and France achieving bronze. Not before time.

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