A lawsuit filed against VANOC by women ski jumpers who want to be included in the 2010 Games has put the organizing committee between a rock and a hard place, a lawyer for the organization says.
George MacIntosh, who presented his defence in B.C. Supreme Court yesterday, said VANOC shouldn’t be held responsible for the International Olympic Committee’s decision to keep women’s ski jumping out of the Games.
“The plaintiffs have an understandable desire to get into the 2010 Olympics (but) the IOC … has decided it’s premature for women’s ski jumping in 2010,” MacIntosh said.
He said the plaintiffs have sued VANOC because they want to use the Charter of Rights in their defence, and they can’t use it against the IOC as it isn’t bound by Canadian laws.
“I don’t think that the Canadian law does apply to the selection of sports for the Olympics, whether they’re held in Canada or somewhere else,” he said.
Renée Smith-Valade, vice-president of communications for VANOC, said she understands the jumpers’ disappointment.
“If anyone understands Olympic dreams, we do at VANOC,” Smith-Valade said.
“Unfortunately … there’s a process in place that involves international experts who determine whether or not the sport has met Olympic standards, and that decision is not one that rests with VANOC.”
If VANOC loses the case the IOC has said it will not hold another Olympics in Canada. Lawyers for VANOC will finish their arguments today, and the judge could take up to three months to reach a decision.