Women’s Ski Jumpers back in court

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 11, 2009 10:47 am

In a long, continuing battle for their inclusion in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the women ski jumpers are back in court tomorrow and Friday. According to Ross Clark, Q.C., the jumpers’ lawyer, they will appear in the Court of Appeal and present arguments that build on the trial judge’s findings of discrimination and VANOC’s carrying out of a government activity.

“We will ask the court to consider whether the IOC can force VANOC to discriminate when it’s carrying out a government activity,” Clark explained. “We don’t agree with the trial judge’s findings that the International Olympic Committee is the final authority.”

Deedee Corradini, president of Women’s Ski Jumping-USA and former mayor of Salt Lake City, agrees with the ladies’ lawyer. “Canada has poured over $2.5 billion taxpayer dollars into the 2010 Olympics and almost daily local, provincial and federal politicians are claiming credit for hosting the games.  Rights to free speech are being curtailed and government will be forced to underwrite any loss,” Corradini pointed out.  “It seems obvious that government is deeply involved.”

“This is not what support looks like,” added Corradini. “Support would be VANOC taking the jumpers’ position to the IOC itself rather than having the athletes take on the fight themselves,” she explained.  “VANOC could have told the IOC there is a human rights law in Canada which says that a distinction cannot be drawn between men and women, and what it offers to one, it must offer to the other.”

In spite of the recent rulings and ongoing battle, the 14 elite women ski jumpers who are plaintiffs remain optimistic about their chances to participate in the Olympic Games in Vancouver.