Four female ski jumpers said yesterday they had no choice but to take the Vancouver Organizing Committee to court to get their sport, for which men can compete, into the 2010 Games.
The suit’s claimants, nine women from seven countries, including Canada’s Marie-Pierre Morin, said excluding them is tantamount to discrimination.
Lindsey Van, an American plaintiff, said the fight should have been over years ago.
“It’s 2008,” she said. “It’s very frustrating.”
Deedee Corradini, president of the Women’s Ski Jumping USA, said they’ve tried every other avenue to get the sport into the 2010 program.
“This is the time and place,” she said. “This issue isn’t going.”
Ross Clark, with Davis LLP, the firm representing the claimants, said VANOC, not the IOC, is being sued because it receives government funding.
“Because it is carrying out government policy to put on and host a successful Games it is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which prohibits discrimination based on gender.”
VANOC CEO John Furlong said he’s not in a position to comment on the case.
“It’s entirely the IOC’s jurisdiction to decide what’s in the program,” he said.
Yesterday, the IOC said the decision was made two years ago to exclude women’s jumping because of a lack of international appeal, major competitions and not enough competitive athletes.