Brian (annodomini) wrote,
Brian
annodomini

Why you shouldn't watch the Winter Olympics

There is so much wrong with all of this that I don't know where to start; I'll just let the quotes do the talking.
Lindsey Van holds the record — among both men and women — for the longest jump off of Whistler, B.C.'s normal ski jump, built for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The 25-year-old skier trains six days a week, 11 months a year and has been jumping for the past 19 years. But when games kick off on Feb. 12, the 2009 women's ski jumping world champion will be nowhere in sight. That's because women aren't allowed to ski jump in the Olympics.
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"I don't think there's any discrimination going on," says Joe Lamb, the U.S. ski team representative for the International Ski Federation's (FIS) ski jumping committee. "It may seem like that, but there are hundreds of other issues at play." Vancouver can accommodate only so many athletes, says Lamb, and whenever a new event is introduced it limits the number of people able to participate in others. That, coupled with the IOC's list of criteria that a sport must meet before it is accepted — a history of world championships and a sizable number of athletes participating worldwide — made women's ski jump an unlikely addition for 2010. And yet the IOC allowed Vancouver to add something called ski cross — a freestyle discipline in which multiple skiers race over bumps and jumps, like a snowy version of motor cross — even though at the time of its application the sport reportedly had fewer participants than women's ski jump.
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In 2005, Gian Franco Kasper, FIS president and a member of the IOC, said that he didn't think women should ski jump because the sport "seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view."
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So will the IOC approve women's ski jump for 2014? "We'll have to wait and see," IOC member Dick Pound said in an interview for an MSNBC.com documentary on women's ski jumping, Frozen Out of the Olympics. "If in the meantime you're making all kinds of allegations about the IOC and how it's discriminating on the basis of gender," he warned, "the IOC may say, 'Oh yeah, I remember them. They're the ones that embarrassed us and caused us a lot of trouble of trouble in Vancouver, maybe they should wait another four years or eight years.'"
Why Can't Women Ski Jump in the Olympics?
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