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Women Ski Jumpers To Sue Olympic Organizers

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Women ski jumpers to sue Olympic organizers

Updated Wed. May. 21 2008 1:53 AM ET


Some of the best female ski jumpers in the world will take their fight to fly at the 2010 Winter Olympics to B.C.'s Supreme Court.

CTV News has learned that the jumpers will file a lawsuit Wednesday against Vancouver's Olympic organizing committee, alleging that not allowing women to compete is a violation of their Canadian Charter rights.

The group includes six of the top 10 current female jumpers on the highest competitive circuit, the Continental Cup: athletes from Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Austria, and two American jumpers.

A statement of claim is expected to be filed with the court Wednesday afternoon.

Their argument is similar to a complaint filed by the Canadian jumpers with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2007 -- that the Canadian government shouldn't be providing public money for an organization they say discriminates against women.

The International Olympic Committee maintains it doesn't discriminate and the sport has been kept out of the games because it doesn't meet technical standards.

VANOC couldn't be reached for comment.

The foreign jumpers won't be getting any support from their Canadian counterparts -- at least publicly.

Early this year, the Canadian jumpers settled their human rights complaint, with the condition the Canadian government would pressure the IOC to include them in 2010.

Jumper Katie Willis says she is standing by that settlement and the promised efforts of Canada's Secretary of State for Sport, Helena Guergis with the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge.

"I still have a lot of hope, I met with Helena, and she seemed really eager and she was going to go over there and was going to talk to him," said Willis.

But that settlement didn't stop foreign jumpers from filing suit.

While anyone in the world can file a discrimination suit in Canada, provided they plan to be in the country at some point, lawsuits that cite the Canadian Charter of Rights must be filed against a government organization.

Robert Holmes of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said he's interested to see how the lawsuit develops.

"I can't question the motives of the people who are bringing this suit," said Holmes. "If they haven't been able to make progress by other means, then perhaps by bringing this lawsuit they'll get the IOC and VANOC to sit down and start discussing things at the table."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan

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Maybe instead of wasting their and everybody else's money on legal fees the raging ladyjumpers should concentrate on actually expanding the sport, no? These kinds of cases in BC are notorious for being issues that are pushed too far (often by the courts and liaisons themselves) for no reason other than just publicity and pot-stirring, both of which make excellent fee-based income machines.

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What does this have to do with VANOC? This is the IOC's decision, their constant whining about how this is all sexism is beyond ridiculous and the media is only fanning the flames for them.

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this is hypocrisy. they should have done the work way back if they intended to have their sport included in the 2010 program. also on corradini's part, she should've lobbied the IOC for women's ski jump to be included back when SLC was awarded the games not when a Canadian city is about to host. this lawsuit should be directed to the IOC not VANOC.

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The organization isn't "discriminating" on the basis of gender, they are "discriminating" on the basis of organization - or lack there of. They don't meet the requirements to become an Olympic sport. So spend your effort working on meeting those requirements.

Next lawsuit...fat people sue IOC and VANOC because there are no obese athletes in speed skating leotards. :rolleyes:

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