Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, has again caught the ire of female ski jumpers after he “disparagingly” compared them to their male counterparts at a press conference, the women say.
Thirteen female jumpers from five countries sent a letter to Rogge, saying the IOC’s logic to bar them from 2010 — because there are only 164 competitive female jumpers compared to 2,500 male jumpers — is unfair.
At a press conference in Switzerland last week, Rogge said women wouldn’t be jumping in Vancouver because the IOC didn’t want to “water down” the medals because of the small pool of female jumpers.
“There are approximately 164 … women jumping around the world. More than 2,500 men are jumping. So you can see the difference,” he said. But in their letter to Rogge, the female jumpers said he “neglected to mention that those male jumpers have participated in the Olympics since 1924,” guaranteeing them funding, coaches, sponsors and a fan base.
“Women’s ski jumping, as a sport, has never had the same level of support and as a consequence has not been able to develop at the same rate as men’s ski jumping,” the women said.
By the numbers
• In 2006, when the IOC decided not to allow women to jump in 2010, there were 83 women from 14 countries competing at the elite level.
• When snowboard cross and ski cross made their debut in the 2006 Games, there were roughly 30 women from 10 countries competing in the sports.