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  • Last-Minute Pleas for Women Jumpers at Vancouver Olympics


    01/07/08

    With the exception of ski jumping, every other event in the Winter Olympics includes female competitors. (Getty Images)  
    Despite the deadline long passing to add women’s ski jump to the Vancouver Olympics, supporters of the event make a new plea to the IOC to reconsider.

    “In our country, as well as Canada, we believe very strongly in equal access and gender equity,” said DeeDee Corradini of Women’s Ski Jumping USA last week at the site of the new jumps built for the 2010 Games.

    Corradini said a single, individual event on the normal hill is all the women want for 2010.

    The IOC has rebuffed efforts to add women’s jumping to the Vancouver program, saying the discipline needs to broaden the number of competitors and stage a successful world championship.

    IOC rules require that any disciplines be added to the program no less than three years before the Games, a deadline that passed last year.

    “It is not too late,” said Coradini.

    “I truly think it is the right thing to do and these women deserve it,” she said.

    The addition of ski jumping has the support of FIS and Vancouver organizers have said they will stage the event, if the IOC gives its approval.

    “It would be a fabulous thing for Canada to make history to be the first country to host an Olympic Games that was totally equal,” Corradini said.
    DeeDee Corradini -- mayor of Salt Lake City during the 1998 Games -- received the flag in Nagano. (Getty Images)  


    Women’s ski jumping will have its first individual world championship in 2009. Corradini said there were 83 women from 14 countries competing in last year’s Continental Cup series, which is more than the numbers who participate in ski cross and sliding sports.

    Last fall, the Canadian Human Rights Commission brokered mediated talks between complainant Jan Willis, mother of national team jumper Katie Willis, and the Department of Canadian Heritage, which funded the Whistler Olympic Park via Sport Canada.

    Federal Olympics minister David Emerson said he would discuss the matter with sport secretary Helena Guergis when he returns from a trade mission to Asia.

    U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association vice-president of communications Tom Kelly said his organization respects the IOC sport selection process and is “hopeful for inclusion of women’s ski jumping in the 2014 Games in Sochi.”

    Written by Bob Mackin in Vancouver

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