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Female Ski Jumping Axed for 2010 Vancouver Olympics

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The good news for women's ski jumping is that  Canadian federal court agrees unequivocally that the IOC has discriminated against women in only allowing men to compete in the event in next year's Winter Olympics.
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↵The bad news? There's nothing it can do about it.
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↵Owing to the fact that the IOC is outside the jurisdiction of Canadian federal court, the Olympics will continue to feature only male ski jumpers. The IOC claims "technical issues" instead of gender discrimination, since so few female athletes from so few countries compete in the sport, but there's a teeny tiny problem with that fact: ↵
↵⇥[Justice Lauri Ann] Fenlon addressed that directly in her ruling: "If the IOC had applied the criteria for admission off new events to both men's and women's ski jumping events," she wrote, "neither group would be competing in the 2010 Games." ↵
↵There's also an issue of sheer watchability: while women's physiological characteristics generally leave them disadvantaged in a sport like, say, basketball (though they could whoop your old ass), it's quite beneficial in ski jumping: logic dictates that it's easier to launch 120 pounds of person off a ramp than 170 pounds, after all.
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↵As a matter of fact, guess whether a man or woman holds the record for longest ski jump. Go on, guess. ↵
↵⇥The ruling means that the ski jumper who holds the distance record on the K95 "normal hill" in the Vancouver Olympicis won't get to compete at the games. Lindsey Van, 24, of Park City, Utah, has jumped farther than any man on the Olympic hill.
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↵⇥Van will watch on television as men try to beat her record at February's games. She's looking ahead to 2014, but she's not sure she can last that long -- the sport given the lack of financial support for non-Olympic athletes. ↵
↵It's a shame that this relic of bureaucracy has left ski jumping as literally the only men-only sport in the Winter Olympics. While there's some merit to the IOC's claim that the requirements for inclusion haven't been met yet--what seems more like the IOC? Discriminating simply for the hell of it in one sport and only one, or clinging to needlessly punitive rules? Yep, thought so--perhaps this ruling will convince them that the problem lies not in participation, but the requirements themselves.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.