IOC member gives endorsement for women ski jumpers in Olympics

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 8, 2011 6:23 am

Women’s Ski Jumping is the only discipline in the Olympic Winter or Summer Games that does not allow women to compete. After years of battling to finally be allowed to compete in the Games, the International Olympic Committee has said it is “looking favorably” at adding a women’s ski jumping event to the Sochi 2014 Games. A decision will be announced this spring by President Rogge.

Lindsey Van, of Park City, Utah, is the reigning world champion of women’s ski jumping and one of the figureheads pushing the sport and the IOC to allow the women to compete.

“Honestly, I think our sport will be just fine if IOC is looking for a good competition. I don’t think I have to perform extra good for myself or for IOC. I think they may have already made up their mind about us, but wanted more time to look at the other new sports they are considering as well. Worst-case scenario is that we don’t get in Sochi 2014 – we’re status quo – and so we just keep going.” says Lindsey Van.

Recently, Gerhard Heiberg, an International Olympic Committee’s executive board member, offered his full support for bringing the women’s discipline into the program.

“I hope it’s included,” Heiberg told The Associated Press. “I would be in favor and of course I will report this to President Rogge.”

“I was not very positive after what I saw two years ago at the world championships in Liberec, but today I am of another opinion,” Heiberg said.  After watching the women jump in fog at the World Championships in Oslo he said, “I think there has been a great improvement.  Fifteen nations took part, the quality was pretty good in the conditions they had, and there was not too much distance between the first one and the 10- 15 best ones.”

International Federation President Gian-Franco Kasper is also backing the ladies.  “I am 90 percent optimistic that it will be in the Olympics in 2014,’’

This is all great news but ulimately the decision rests with President Rogge and he is expected to make a decision any day now that the World Championships are over.