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Women Excluded from Olympic Ski Jump

This year, women will compete in every sport in the Winter Olympics except the ski jump. The International Ski Federation (FIS) blocked women from entering the competition claiming that there were not enough female competitors in the sport. Critics, however, claim that if the FIS would open the ski jump to women, then more female competitors would emerge, as was the case in 1999 with women’s bobsledding. Anita DeFrantz, Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s women in sports committee challenged the FIS to “do the right thing” by opening up the ski jump event to women. The official Olympics website claims that, “There is no rule stating that female athletes are prohibited from competing in ski jumping events.” The site, however, admits that, “Women have never competed in the sport at an Olympic Winter Games.” There are at least a few women that would like to go for gold, including Karla Keck, the first unofficial women’s world ski jump champion, but she will have to wait and hope for 2006.

Sources:

U.S. News & World Report, 1/21/02; Salt Lake City 2002, www.olympics.com