The following letter from IOC President Jacques Rogge was recently received by the 14 elite women ski jumpers fighting for inclusion in the 2010 Olympic Games.
Thank you for your letter. As you know, I admire your passion for your sport and your ability as athletes. This is underlined by the tenacious way in which you have campaigned for inclusion in the Vancouver Games. However, for a number of clear reasons, we confirm our decision that women’s ski jumping will not be part of the Olympic programme in February 2010.
We are both in agreement that the inclusion of women’s boxing in the London 2012 Olympic Games is a great decision for the athletes involved and for the Olympic Movement as a whole. The inclusion of women’s boxing highlights the fact that the IOC is working hard to reach gender parity in winter and summer Games.
It also underlines that the reason why we took the decision not to include women’s ski jumping was made strictly on a technical basis and absolutely not on gender grounds and was part of a process employed across all sports in the programme. The view of the Olympic Programme Commission, which considered the women’s ski jumping application, was that the event was not ready.
As you point out in your letter, women’s ski jumping is growing and we are also trying to do our bit by including women’s ski jumping in the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games. Hopefully, together we can contribute to bringing more participants into the sport.
As we’ve said since we made our decision in 2006, we remain open to considering women’s ski jumping for inclusion in future Olympic Winter Games and I am sure that your event will be able to make a very strong case the next time the FIS proposes it.
Lastly, I note that you highlight the comments of the judge in making her judgement against the inclusion of women’s ski jumping in the next edition of the Winter Games. You will note that she also highlighted that the “IOC in recent years has supported the inclusion of women in the Olympics and in amateur sports and implemented a wide range of initiatives to increase women’s involvement in leadership and administration within the Olympic movement and the wider sporting community." You have my assurance that this progress will continue.