A group of women ski jumpers wrote a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, urging him to do for the Winter Games the same thing he did for the Summer Games — make it gender equal.
The International Olym-pic Committee recently approved the inclusion of women’s boxing at the London Games in 2012, the final summer sport without a women’s division.
“The world would cheer even louder if you took the final step to allow women ski jumpers to compete in the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in 2010,” the letter read.
“You have the opportunity to add to your legacy as IOC president by indicating the time is now, and Canada is the place for gender equality in the Olympics.”
Eighteen months ago, women ski jumpers sued VANOC, accusing it of violating Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms through alleged gender discrimination. A Supreme Court judge agreed the women were being discriminated against, but said it’s up to the IOC, over which the court has no jurisdiction, to add the sport.
The IOC justified its decision in 2006 by saying that not enough women participate in ski jumping — 83 women from 14 countries competed at the highest level then. But the ski jumpers say that ski cross was accepted with only 30 top-level women competitors from 11 nations.