Vancouver – The appeal of the 14 elite women ski jumpers proceeding against the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee for a declaration to be allowed to participate in the 2010 Olympic Games will be heard Nov. 12 and 13 in the BC Court of Appeal.
According to the plaintiffs’ lawyer Ross Clark, Q.C., the argument he plans to put forward is simple and straightforward, focusing on the discrimination and the fact of VANOC being a government entity as found by Madam Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon.
“The Supreme Court Judge found the women had been discriminated against and she found that VANOC is carrying out a government activity,” he pointed out. “But then she stopped short of the next logical step which would have been to grant us the remedy we were seeking. We will ask the Court of Appeal to revisit that.”
Deedee Corradini, president of Women’s Ski Jumping-USA, said she is very pleased the decision is being appealed and that VANOC has pledged to ‘move heaven and earth’ to get the women ski jumpers in if ordered to do so.
“Once we had a chance to review the Supreme Court judge’s decision and to consult with our lawyers and the jumpers, we knew we had to appeal,” she explained. “In her reasons, Judge Fenlon found the women ski jumpers have been discriminated against simply because of their gender and she found VANOC is a government entity, subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 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.”
Ski jumping is the only sport in the Olympic Winter Games not open to both men and women.