Ski jumpers’ lawyer uncertain of appeal

A lawyer representing 15 female ski jumpers said he needs time toconsider whether to appeal a  B.C. Supreme Court decision not to orderVANOC to let women jump in the 2010 Games.

A lawyer representing 15 female ski jumpers said he needs time to consider whether to appeal a B.C. Supreme Court decision not to order VANOC to let women jump in the 2010 Games.

“We’re disappointed … but respect the judge’s ruling,” Ross Clark said.

On Friday, Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon ruled VANOC isn’t violating Canada’s Charter of Rights by not staging women’s ski jumping.

Fifteen women had gone to court seeking to take part in the Olympics or cancel men’s ski jumping as well.

While Fenlon agreed that excluding women is discriminatory, she said it’s the International Olympic Committee’s decision — not VANOC’s.

The Charter of Rights does not have jurisdiction over the IOC.

Katie Willis, a Calgary-based ski jumper and one of the plaintiffs in the case, said she was disappointed by the news. “It’s awful that we lost, but I’m glad we tried,” Willis said.

Jessica Jerome, an American jumper said the news has left her “extremely disheartened.” “This decision will affect a lot of talented skiers,” she said.

The IOC responded that decisions regarding Olympic programs are “carefully considered” years in advance.

“When the 2010 program was determined in 2006 … women’s ski jumping had not developed to the point where it was ready for inclusion in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” the statement said.