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Women ski jumpers go to B.C. Court of Appeal

A group of 14 women ski jumpers who are fighting to be included in the2010 Vancouver Olympics are taking their battle to B.C.’s highest court.

A group of 14 women ski jumpers who are fighting to be included in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics are taking their battle to B.C.’s highest court.

Ski jumping is the only sport in the Winter Olympics not open to men and women.

In July, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon found the women were discriminated against, but held that the International Olympic Committee was not subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In a statement yesterday, lawyer Ross Clark said he wants the B.C. Court of Appeal to “revisit” the judgment.

“(Fenlon) found that VANOC is carrying out a government activity, but then she stopped short of the next logical step … to grant us the remedy we were seeking,” Clark said.

The appeal will be held in Vancouver on Nov. 12 and 13 — less than three months ahead of the Olympic opening ceremonies.

The IOC has defended its decision to exclude women jumpers based on technical criteria, such as there being too few athletes. Proponents have argued that the sport has more athletes than others had, like snowboard and ski cross, which are now Olympic sports.

In the release, Deedee Corradini, Women’s Ski-Jumping USA president, said she was pleased the appellant court would hear the case.

“In her reasons, Judge Fenlon found the women ski jumpers have been discriminated against simply because of their gender … It was disappointing that she stopped short of ordering VANOC to uphold the charter, but we’re hopeful the appeal court will come to the right conclusion.”

 
 
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