Women ski jumpers to jump at 2014 Sochi Games

2011 World Champion Daniela Iraschko. Photo (c) www.wsjusa.com


By Stine Alvad
After having fought a long and futile legal battle to get to compete at the Vancouver Games in 2010, Women Ski Jumpers can look forward to being on the programme in Sochi 2014 when the IOC yesterday added Women’s ski jumping and 5 other sports to the next Winter Games.

“We are elated and relieved,” Deedee Corradini, President of
Women’s Ski Jumping USA said according to Women Ski Jumping USA. “Sochi, Russia can proudly proclaim that it will be hosting the first gender-equal Winter Games in Olympic history.”

It appears to have been the women’s performances during the Oslo World Cup last month that have made the IOC accept the sport as eligible for the Winter Games.

"If you compared the previous world championships to the first one, there was much more quality and depth compared to 2009," IOC sports director Christophe Dubi said according to AP. "At the time you had a handful of really good jumpers. If you compare 2009 and 2011, you have a really wide increase of technical capability."

In the run up to the Vancouver Games the IOC rejected the discipline citing it lacked elite competition. The women ski jumpers took the case all the way to the B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal claiming that not allowing them to compete in Canada was a breach of Canada’s Charter on Rights and Freedoms. Their case was dismissed and eventually they did not compete at the 2010 Winter Games.

“We’ve worked really hard as athletes fighting for our sport, so this feels like a big success,” said Lindsay Van according to Women Ski jump USA.

“I am thrilled the IOC decided to add our sport. Personally, this means a lot to me. I started ski jumping when there were no international women’s competitions,” continued the 2009 World Champion. “Women’s ski jumping has been growing over the past 10 years, but inclusion in the Olympics is what our sport needed to take the next step.

"The inclusion of these events on the Olympic Winter Games program is sure to be appreciated by athletes and sports fans alike," IOC President Jacques Rogge said in a press release on IOC’s decision.

"These are exciting, entertaining events that perfectly complement the existing events on the sports program, bring added appeal and increase the number of women participating at the Games. I look forward to watching the athletes compete in these events in Sochi 2014."

For more background on the Women Ski Jumpers’ fight for inclusion click here.

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