No clear answer from IOC for women ski jumpers

FasterSkierSeptember 19, 200913

The following is a response to a letter sent to Dr. Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, from the elite women ski jumpers seeking inclusion in the 2010 Olympics.

Please find below the text of a letter we received today from IOC President Jacques Rogge. We are disappointed it does not address our specific query about the technical requirements we fail to meet, but we are not surprised. We are confident we do indeed meet all the universality and technical requirements needed to participate fully at the Olympics. We will now concentrate our efforts on the appeal of our legal case to be heard in the BC Court of Appeal Nov. 12 & 13.

Anette Sagen, Norway, Ulrike Graesler, Germany, Jenna Mohr, Germany, Monica Planic, Slovenia, Lindsey Van, USA, Jessica Jerome, USA, Karla Keck, USA, Katie Willis, Canada, Marie-Pierre Morin, Canada, Meaghan Reid, Canada, Zoya Lynch, Canada, Jade Edwards, Canada, Nata de Leeuw, Canada, Charlotte Mitchell
Dear Ladies,

Thank you for your letter dated 4 September 2009.

You have clearly made important strides to develop women’s ski jumping since our decision in 2006 – and in coming years we are open to considering women’s ski jumping for inclusion in future Olympic Winter Games. However, we remain convinced that our decision in 2006 was the correct one, based on the analysis of the event done at that time, and our position for the 2010 Games is unchanged.

I am sure that with your passion for your sport and with the continued support of the International Ski Federation (FIS), your efforts to improve and develop women’s ski jumping globally will create a very compelling argument for the Olympic Programme Commission, when the winter programme is reviewed in the future.

I am pleased that you agree that the inclusion of women’s ski jumping in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is a wonderful initiative and hopefully, with your help, the YOG can play a part in encouraging the next generation of young female athletes to take-up this exciting event.

We continue to work, as Justice Fenlon noted, for “the inclusion of women in the Olympics and in amateur sports”, as well as in the fields of sports leadership and administration, and your commitment to your sport and its development will greatly assist in this domain. I wish you good luck during your competitions this up-coming season and thank you for your continued engagement to sport.

Yours sincerely,
Jacques Rogge


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  • JustAnotherSkier

    September 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    What’s the matter with these old men? Where’s USSA’s leadership on this? Oh that’s right they threw women jumpers under the bus too.

  • Ben Arians

    September 19, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I really don’t mean to be a party pooper here, but I’m curious: how many elite level women ski jumpers there are competing right now? I counted 14 women that signed the first missive above, and I’m sorry, but I don’t think that a sport deserves Olympic status when the numbers competing at an elite level are quite low. I looked up the numbers with FIS licences and it’s pretty low. Saying that there is a great injustice being done to these women or that the USSA is throwing them under the bus is a little excessive. I am not implying that those women that are competing at the very top aren’t elite level (I’ve seen footage of them jumping, and they look pretty good to me!), but including an event in the Olympics when the field is so minimal just doesn’t make sense. I feel the same way about skeleton, I don’t think that sport needs to be in the Olympics either, although it is. I know Olympic level exposure means a lot to a sport as far as how quickly it can grow, but I also don’t believe that inclusion of a sport or event in the Olympics is a requirement for the validation or growth of that sport or event. These women are obviously passionate about ski jumping, and hopefully their numbers and influence increase to the extent that they can’t be left out for 2014.

  • Martin Hall

    September 21, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Jacques is very clear in my estimation. “However, we remain convinced that our decision in 2006 was the correct one, based on the analysis of the event done at that time, and our position for the 2010 Games is unchanged.”
    The only way you ladies will be at WOP is as spectators according to him—-unless, and hopefully so, some sort of injunction or decision from the courts takes place, in your favor.
    I know this sport, use to do it, you ladies are GOOOOOD, and deserve to be there.
    The IOC has a responsibility to help a sport grow and being an Olympic sport gives that little extra that gets programs over the top.
    There was a beginning to all this and many sports have been added to the Olympic program over the years of lesser stature–too bad—power sucks and Jacques has it right now.

  • David Anderson

    September 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I actually have kind of a hard time faulting the IOC on this one. If memory serves the first time there were women jumpers at an World Championships was in Liberec last season. It’s hard to fault the IOC for feeling a sport doesn’t belong at the championship level when its own governing body had agreed. Put the fault here with the FIS where it belongs for its shameful lack of developing the sport at the international level.

  • JustAnotherSkier

    September 22, 2009 at 1:39 am

    What do I know, I’m just another skier, but from where I sit there is no sport of Women Ski Jumping. The sport is called Ski Jumping – period. Men compete on an international level, women compete on an international level.

    How many women jumpers are there? I have no clue. How many women lugers are there?

  • Tim Kelley

    September 22, 2009 at 10:19 am

    It would be interesting to know what kind of hoops the fringe sports like ski-cross and skeleton had to jump through to get into the Winter Olympics. Did they first have to go years at the “minors level” (YOG, World Champs)? Or did they get the fast tract into the Olympics by use of political connections and money? It would be good for the jumper girls to know this info, prior to their day in court, to determine if the IOC is treating them fairly relative to other newly indoctrinated Olympic sports.

  • nordic_dave

    September 22, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of the commentary here. To Justanotherskier, yeah I’m sure USSA and the IOC conspired on this. We wouldn’t want to win any Olympic medals with a World Champion would we?

    Money, power and politics in the Olympics ? NOOOOO!
    Say it isn’t true, what a joke get a clue!

    To my good neighbors whose daughter I have watched in this sport since she was a kid, she prejumped in the men’s Olympic
    finals in 2002 what a thrilling event that was with Poland, Germany and Switzerland going for the Gold and Jessica was a part of that. I would be ecstatic to see her go for it years later ending up on the podium.

    To the Winter Olympics overall….how relevant do you think the Winter Olympics is to the World? Reality check not much. I live and dream for snow as I absolutely love this sport yet DO try and keep things in perspective please.

    We in Winter Sports are the fly on the Cow’s butt in the grand scheme of things. Total revenues that a city makes hosting this event always a risky proposition. In SLC we came out alright after 2002 yet it was no sure bet.

    When I see the women jumpers some of which I know personally like Brenna Ellis whom is a close personal friend, I’m ALL IN or ALL OUT (I don’t care which it is) .

    Why Fasterskier goes off about this stuff is beyond me. BTW,
    not one of you commented on the lack of the U.S. women’s funding in women’s nordic skiing in the 2006 Winter Olympics.

    Nothing is free in this world and many of you act like sports funding should be an entitlement. Typically many of you eschew the very idea of making an income for the means of supporting anyone beyond for yourself .

    Oh btw, take a good look at WHO funded Canadian Cross Country Skiing. He happens to live in the good old U.S of A. !

    Yes I’m laughing now.

  • FasterSkier

    September 23, 2009 at 6:55 am

    To Dave: I’m not sure what you mean by “Why FasterSkier goes off on this…” The above commenters are no way affiliated with FasterSkier – this is an open forum, and people are free to express their opinions. Please don’t confuse their views with the views of this website. The fact that we are regularly reporting on this issue, and that I wrote an earlier editorial entitled “Let Them Jump” clearly demonstrates that FasterSkier fully supports women’s jumping and the inclusion of the sport in the Olympics.

  • nordic_dave

    September 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Still laughing not confused. Maybe you can get JC to do an article again? It’s about that time isn’t it?

  • AnonAmos

    September 23, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Perhaps a different legal approach may be more effective. You don’t have to read between the lines to see that essentially Mr. Rogge says that: White Women Can’t Jump.
    In this day and age, a slur of that magnitude should not go unchallenged.
    C’mon Chicks, at this point I’d throw everything you can think of and see what sticks.

  • nordic_dave

    September 23, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    You must be a lawyer willing to take this on pro bono right?
    Umm please google Dee Dee Coridini find out who she is and what she has been doing before you offer this type of “expert” advice.

  • caldxski

    September 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    To NordicDave, or whatever your name is..

    Gad, you took the words right outta my mouth. I’m working on an article which you won’t see for a while. Don’t be disappointed.

    John Caldwell (JC to you,. I guess)

  • nordic_dave

    September 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Oy ! How prescient of me….

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