FanDuel - WFBC

May 22, 2008

Female ski jumpers taking VANOC to court: .... sources indicated that the petition is being filed against the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics and alleges that banning women jumpers from the Games violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ski jumping, a part of the Games since 1924, is the only Olympic event closed to women. The IOC has argued that there are not enough top-calibre women ski jumpers to warrant inclusion.

posted by tommytrump to business and law at 02:37 AM - 18 comments

VANOC is being targeted despite the fact that local organizers have no decision-making authority over which events are on the Games agenda. I'm sure there is some lawyer out there who can explain this but it seems like they've chosen the wrong target. Ms. Corradini said VANOC is being sued because it is the B.C.-based representatives of the IOC. Hmmm. That's not how I understand it, but maybe the courts will agree.

posted by Amateur at 05:53 AM on May 22

The suit is being brought in BC Supreme Court. If the suit were to target the IOC, it would have to be brought in a court that had jurisdiction over the IOC, which presumably the BC Supreme Court does not. I'm not even sure that the IOC is entirely to blame (although in excluding women's ski jumping, it violates its own charter...but everyone's been looking the other way over that one for years now). Under Jacques Rogge, the IOC has been...reluctant just doesn't begin to describe it, really...to expand Olympic events. Anything that makes the Games run longer or need more facilities is bad in Rogge's eyes. So, no events will be expanded unless they've got a powerful advocate. The advocate in this case should have been the FIS, which is the IOC-recognized international governing organization of ski jumping, and the FIS, to put it bluntly, are a pack of antediluvian jackasses who are all in favor of the way it's always been done (for all values of "it"). For women's ski jumping to make it into the Vancouver Games, the FIS would have had to get in there and really pitch for them; instead, their support was lukewarm at best, so it's not surprising it happened this way.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:00 AM on May 22

Why do they have to expand it? Why can't they just open up qualifying to anyone; if some women make the cut, they get to jump. Simple. The schedule wont need to be amended at all, and there would be no 'extra' event. Let 'em all jump together. May the best (wo)man win.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 12:46 PM on May 22

Let 'em all jump together. May the best (wo)man win. I say that's a great idea. Equality! Should do that for all the events. Put them wheelchair folks in the mix too. Ski jumping would be problematic, though. Folks with the wheels might have too much of an advantage. In truth, though, my favorite winter games event is ski jumping. Seems rather dumb to have the gents have a go and not the ladies. But I don't know what I'm talking about.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:32 PM on May 22

What do they mean women are "barred" from competing in ski jump? Women aren't barred from baseball, there just aren't many women who play it so the Olympics does not include an event for it. Men aren't barred from synchronized swimming or rhythmic dancing, there are just so few men who compete in it as to make having an event for it worthless. I don't know much about the popularity of women's ski jumping, but since when did courts get to decide what events a private organization must include (and by the way, human rights?!)? The IOC should be free to include or exclude whatever events it pleases, as it is a private enterprise. It will see the light of the exclusion of an event when it realizes the money to be gained from it, similarly it will exclude any event which is a big time money loser and is not a traditional event such as steeple chase or greco-roman wrestling. What the Olympics can't do is violate discrimination laws which prohibit banning or holding to a different standard people for inappropriate reasons in the events that they actually do decide to hold. Why do these women think they have some entitlement to be in the Olympics? If they want to crown a champion, they can, all they have to do is run a championship for themselves. If they gain enough popularity that way, there is no doubt that Rogge or whoever will include them.

posted by Chargdres at 01:45 PM on May 22

Good point, C. Nowhere in the article does anyone give an actual number of women competing internationally in the sport. Ms. Corradini said VANOC is being sued because it is the B.C.-based representatives of the IOC. “But I'm not sure of all the legal ins and outs.” Ms. Corradini apparently believes in suing first and getting the facts later. Therefore, Ms. Corradini can go fuck herself.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:55 PM on May 22

Why do these women think they have some entitlement to be in the Olympics? Ick, that sounds terrible. I don't even know what to say with this kind of statement. Nowhere in the article does anyone give an actual number of women competing internationally in the sport. So? The failure of the reporter to include that information doesn't change their argument any. You could have found out with a simple google search if that was the crux of your argument. Here.

posted by bperk at 03:28 PM on May 22

Why do these women think they have some entitlement to be in the Olympics? Ick, that sounds terrible. I don't even know what to say with this kind of statement. Seconded. Even if we accept the Olympics in the large sense are a private entity, the Vancouver Olympics are massively funded by taxpayer money and, furthermore, take place within the Province of British Columbia and must be subject to our laws. I don't know all the details of this case but on first blush they would have a human-rights complaint ready-made.

posted by rumple at 04:55 PM on May 22

So? The failure of the reporter to include that information doesn't change their argument any. You could have found out with a simple google search if that was the crux of your argument. Here. I'll forgive both the reporter and myself for not using the press release of the group filing the lawsuit. I was getting more at the supporters themselves not giving a figure, but now I see why -- 130 women from 16 countries? Wow, what overwhelming numbers! In contrast, if you visit the International Ski Federation's web site, you'll find more than 200 men registered as competitors -- on the first two pages of the registry, and you'll only be partway through the "C"s on the second page. It's possible (actually, entirely likely) the female jumpers are getting the short end of the stick for funding, exposure, etc., from the overseeing group. Taking it out on the Olympics, however, is not the way to rectify that situation. I don't know all the details of this case but on first blush they would have a human-rights complaint ready-made. Yes, because every time a ruling doesn't go your way, you should make it a human-rights issue. People in Darfur and South Africa, they have human-rights issues. You have an undeveloped sport. Go fix that.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:10 PM on May 22

wfrazerjr: I'll forgive both the reporter and myself for not using the press release of the group filing the lawsuit. I was getting more at the supporters themselves not giving a figure, but now I see why -- 130 women from 16 countries? Wow, what overwhelming numbers! Prior to the 1970s, there were very few women competing in the marathon. Evidently the Boston Athletic Association used your same reasoning when they excluded women from official participation until 1972. Until fairly recently, there were very few women competing in ice hockey; now it's a thriving sport that produces some of the most exciting viewing of a winter Olympics. If your reasoning prevailed, ice hockey would still not be in the Olympics. You have an undeveloped sport. Go fix that. Easy to say while sitting on the couch. Deedee Corradini has busted her ass to create competitive jumping opportunities for women. The reason why women won't be jumping in Vancouver has nothing to do with her lack of efforts; it's the FIS that fucked it up. Chargdres: I don't know much about the popularity of women's ski jumping, but since when did courts get to decide what events a private organization must include (and by the way, human rights?!)? The IOC should be free to include or exclude whatever events it pleases, as it is a private enterprise. The IOC charter states that the IOC's role includes "...to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women..." Sounds like it is on them, after all.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:34 PM on May 22

Hey, I'm all for women's ski jumping getting in. Sign me up for the petition to the IOC. I just don't see how suing VANOC -- who have no control whatsoever over the sporting programme -- is anything other than a publicity stunt. And lbb -- I do think that according to the charter as you've quoted it, the IOC has an obligation to put pressure on the FIS to develop women's ski jumping. I don't think they have to automatically have exactly the same events (or even the same number of events) for women as for men; but they should have policies that move sport in that direction. From where I sit, there is plenty of evidence that the IOC is putting exactly that kind of pressure on most of the Olympic sports.

posted by Amateur at 07:46 PM on May 22

Why do these women think they have some entitlement to be in the Olympics? Ick, that sounds terrible. I don't even know what to say with this kind of statement. Thanks for taking my comment entirely out of context. It would have said these "men" these "kids" these "people" if those terms were applicable. As it turns out, these are women, which is why I phrased it "these women". The IOC charter states that the IOC's role includes "...to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women..." Sounds like it is on them, after all. Sorry, lbb, where in that does it say that the IOC must include every sport that women have ever considered playing? Encouragement does not neccessarily mean the inclusion of an event at the Olympic level. It can, and does also mean material and non-material support to the development of women's sport. As I understand the IOC's position, women's ski-jumping is not developed enough yet to warrant an olympic event. That does not mean they don't support women's sport. On that same line, should the IOC include women's american football, just because there is a small league in the US, and to not have an event would somehow imply that the IOC does not "promote" that particular women's sport? Sure, the Vancouver Olympics are in large part taxpayer funded, but that money was not given with the singular condition that the Olympics will in fact be held in Vancouver. Of course, they will have to obey local law, that goes with out saying, but there is no law in Canada that obligates the Olympics to hold any event that is demanded by an organized group of women, men, or whatever. I will say it again: if these women want a championship in their event, they are fully entitled to create one for themselves, and fully entitled to lobby the IOC to include it as an event in the Sochi games in 2014. They are not, however, entitled to force the IOC to include the event in 2010 by calling its absence a "human rights violation".

posted by Chargdres at 08:49 AM on May 23

Amateur: Hey, I'm all for women's ski jumping getting in. Sign me up for the petition to the IOC. I just don't see how suing VANOC -- who have no control whatsoever over the sporting programme -- is anything other than a publicity stunt. I suppose you can call any action intended to influence public opinion and so create pressure a "publicity stunt". By that measure, the 1963 March on Washington was a "publicity stunt". It's my sense of history that you tend to get these sorts of "publicity stunts" when people can't bring pressure to bear in a more direct way. That's certainly the case here. I am not a lawyer, but how exactly would you go about suing the IOC? And lbb -- I do think that according to the charter as you've quoted it, the IOC has an obligation to put pressure on the FIS to develop women's ski jumping. And they might indeed want to do that, but in a sense, the FIS has them over a barrel -- as is, I suspect, the case for all governing organizations. The only real sanction that the IOC could bring to bear would be withdrawing recognition, but they can't do that -- who would replace FIS if they did? Once the IOC recognizes an international governing organization for a sport, any other competing organization that might have the resources to organize international competition tends to die on the vine. It's not a setup that favors reform or accountability. Chargdres: Sorry, lbb, where in that does it say that the IOC must include every sport that women have ever considered playing? Encouragement does not neccessarily mean the inclusion of an event at the Olympic level. Let me provide the quote again, this time with emphasis: "...to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women..." "At all levels" not only includes the Olympics -- which, y'know, it being the International Olympic Committee, you would certainly expect to be included -- but the various levels that lead up to the Olympic level. I will say it again: if these women want a championship in their event, they are fully entitled to create one for themselves, and fully entitled to lobby the IOC to include it as an event in the Sochi games in 2014. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of where international championships come from. "These women" aren't "fully entitled" to create a championship, any more than "these men" are, in any sport. That is the province of an international governing body that has recognition from the IOC. "These women" can't just up and create a championship outside the auspices of the FIS, and have the IOC take said championship into consideration. The IOC will not act on any initiative that is not promoted by FIS. It is not a setup that favors change.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:35 AM on May 23

I suppose you can call any action intended to influence public opinion and so create pressure a "publicity stunt". By that measure, the 1963 March on Washington was a "publicity stunt". You're drawing a direct parallel between the struggle for racial equality in the U.S. and a group of women who aren't getting to ski jump at the Olympics filing a lawsuit and pushing it as a human right issue. Wow. Just wow.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:02 PM on May 23

"...to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women..." lbb, I am still missing the the part of that quote which binds the IOC to include women's ski jump as an event. Its charter calls for promotion and support. Both of those objectives, which are intentionally vague, can and are met without the having an Olympic event. I don't believe any man is entitled to comete in the Olympics either. However, if no international body has created a women's world ski jumping championship, they are fully entitled to create one for themselves if they are so willing. If the FIS refuses to host it, then they are essentially ceding the responsibility to whoever else comes along to take up the banner. The FIS does not have a copyright on the term "champion" or "championship". And again, when I refered to "these women" I was not referring to women in general, as you appear intent on twisting my words into meaning. You see, I used the term "these", an adjective implying exclusivity, in order to refer only the the women petitioning the Canadian Human Rights body for redress. But thanks again for making me out to be a sexist, thats real cool of you.

posted by Chargdres at 01:42 PM on May 23

After reading all the posts, including the links and links within links, I'm having a hard time working up any energy to get behind this cause. 130 athletes world wide is a minuscule group by any standard, and I don't think the I.O.C. should be forced to placate every group that petions for inclusion. The group should be focusing on the FIS to hold more events for them, and thus be able to build a case for the 2014 games. From the original article: But Ms. Corradini said there are double the number of women ski jumpers competing internationally as in the popular ski-cross men's and women's events, which the IOC added to the 2010 Games While I have not researched this...too much to do on Friday afternoon...I find it hard to believe that there are less than 65 ski-cross participants on a world wide basis. The Xgames have been extremely popular, and I've watched several amatuer ski cross events. Anyone have proof that there are only 65 ski crossers world wide?

posted by dviking at 04:19 PM on May 23

Article seems sadly confused, they say it's the only Olympic event closed to women. That seems like a pretty damn good reason to just add women's and call it a day. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be true. I believe boxing is men only. I'd like to see women's boxing though. And I'd watch women's ski jumping too even though I don't really watch the olympics. I'm sure they have some nice outfits, which is irrelevant to the merits of their cause but might affect my tv viewing choices.

posted by wood at 06:30 PM on May 23

wfrazerjr: You're drawing a direct parallel between the struggle for racial equality in the U.S. and a group of women who aren't getting to ski jump at the Olympics filing a lawsuit and pushing it as a human right issue. Wow. Just wow. Totally, completely wrong. I was pointing out that the "publicity stunt" canard doesn't address the merits of the cause in question, and using a famous example of when this was the case. Wow, just wow, yourself. Chargdres: lbb, I am still missing the the part of that quote which binds the IOC to include women's ski jump as an event. Its charter calls for promotion and support. Both of those objectives, which are intentionally vague, can and are met without the having an Olympic event. [emphasis mine] By your use of the phrase "intentionally vague", you are claiming to have some factual knowledge of the intentions of the IOC in drafting that clause of its charter. I admit you have me at a disadvantage, because all I have is the words of the charter itself, plus my memory of statements Rogge has made in the past, specific to the inclusion of women's ski jumping. If you can produce this factual knowledge that shows that "at all levels and in all structures" does not include the Olympics itself, I will readily concede. And again, when I refered to "these women" I was not referring to women in general, as you appear intent on twisting my words into meaning. Let me repeat what I typed above: You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of where international championships come from. "These women" aren't "fully entitled" to create a championship, any more than "these men" are, in any sport. That is the province of an international governing body that has recognition from the IOC. "These women" can't just up and create a championship outside the auspices of the FIS, and have the IOC take said championship into consideration. The IOC will not act on any initiative that is not promoted by FIS. It is not a setup that favors change. Now, where in all that is there anything to indicate that I thought you were referring to all women? I'd say the reverse was quite clear: that I'm talking about a specific group of people and explaining why they can't just up and create their own world championship. dviking: 130 athletes world wide is a minuscule group by any standard, and I don't think the I.O.C. should be forced to placate every group that petions for inclusion. The group should be focusing on the FIS to hold more events for them, and thus be able to build a case for the 2014 games. The group has focused on the FIS. They didn't just come into being in the last month or so, they've been working on this for years. The FIS still doesn't have World Cup jumping events for women. How can this group bring pressure on the FIS? What leverage, exactly, do they have? wood: Article seems sadly confused, they say it's the only Olympic event closed to women. That seems like a pretty damn good reason to just add women's and call it a day. It's the only event in the winter games that excludes women.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:52 AM on May 27

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