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Women Ski Jumpers Want in for 2010

February 12th, 2008     by Stacey May Fowles     Comments

A group of teen athletes are fighting to get women’s ski jumping into the 2010 Games after the IOC stated that “the sport has not met its stringent standards:”

Men’s ski jumping will be included at the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. Female ski jumpers and their supporters say their exclusion is tantamount to gender discrimination.

“I think VANOC and the COC, Sport Canada and the government of Canada — everyone — believes in equality in this country and we’re promoting that,” said Brent Morrice, the chair of Ski Jumping Canada.

The female ski jumpers who are in this fight to compete are teens, all 16 and 17 years old:

Jan Willis, the mother of Canadian Ski Jumper Katie Willis, said she and the athletes are heartened by the support they’ve received for their cause from government, sporting officials, and the Canadian public.

“I think (the support) is really helping the girls, too,” Willis said after the meeting.

“They’re all heading off (Saturday) for six weeks in Europe for competitions and I know that’s really given them a lot of support and energy to really show that they deserve to be in the Olympics.”

Interestingly enough, Katie Willis has already found fame in the arena of ski jumping. She’s in the history books as not only the youngest athlete, but also the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal at an international ski jumping event. She was only 14 when she finished on top against the world’s best athletes, many nearly a decade older than her, at a summer Continental Cup event in Klingenthal, Germany.

“I thought maybe I would find out how it felt to fly.”

Um, doesn’t she sound like a prime candidate to compete for Canada?

Tags: sporting goods

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