The 2010 Olympics are here, and I’m normally excited to watch. I love athletic competition, and the Olympics are usually able to provide a wide variety of athleticism to viewers worldwide. However, I have chosen this year not to support the winter olympics and I will not be watching any of the sporting events.
Why, you ask? Because the International Olympics Committee (OIC) is enforcing a gender bias by prohibiting women from competing in the ski jump. Women have never been allowed to compete, and the OIC states that "women’s ski jumping does not reach the necessary technical criteria and as such does not yet warrant a place alongside other Olympic events."
This statement completely baffles me. How do women not meet the technical criteria for Olympic competition when the men do? Especially when Lindsay Van holds the world record for both men and women, a record she made while jumping off of Whistler, B.C’s normal ski jump, which was created for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Joe Lamb, a representative for the International Ski Federation’s ski jumping committee, doesn’t think there is any gender bias taking place. According to him, the issue lies in the fact that if women were allowed to compete in the ski jump, then the committee would have to limit the number of participants in other newly-introduced competitions.
This, quite simply, is a load of crap. If the OIC is worried about limiting participants in other events, they should not automatically resort to banning women. We’re not living in the 19th century anymore, women deserve to compete too, especially if they’ve already proved they can compete at the same level, and be better than men. If the OIC is worried about too many participants, then they shouldn’t have recently added an event called ski cross – a snowy version of motocross. When ski cross applied for participation, TIME reported it had fewer participants than women’s ski jump.
All in all, the OIC is discriminating against women by not allowing them to jump. One can only hope that someone will get some sense knocked into them and women will compete in 2014. For now, if someone manages to beat Van’s record, it will be done by a man. Women aren’t even going to be given the chance. The only word I can think of about that is, pathetic.