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Women Ski Jumpers Tell Court: Let Us Compete In 2010


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I just wasted 5-minus skimming through 10 pages of comments at CBC, and wow...just wow....some Canadians are just absolutely retarded.

I would be ashamed to be Canadian if the women got their way. It's an absolute abuse of the Charter for their own self-interests in winning a medal in a weak playing field. In summary, the IOC's decision was based on the sport not having enough women and experienced women playing the sport: awarding Olympic medals for that sport would dilute the value of the Olympic medal. And next time the IOC considers Canada as a host, it certainly won't forget what happened in Vancouver as apparently in Canada they won't have control over what sport competitions are being held.

This disgusts me.

The thing is your BC Supreme Court could NOT recognize the authority of the IOC which is after all, questionable. The IOC is REALLY not a sovereign, God-given body, unlike the United Nations which was truly chartered by legitimate nations. As you well know, the IOC is a self-styled, artificial body created by one man and similar others just for the celebration of sport. Its authority or power doesn't emanate from any NATURAL or inherent laws. ANd I hope it doesn't get to the point where VANOC/the IOC will use Olympian (Zeus, Apollo, etc.) references in court. :rolleyes: They will surely lose.

I mean...I should know. Great-great-grandpappy created this party fraternity!! :lol:

Just be glad that that feminst lawyer Gloria Allred is not involved in this fight. She's a scappy one.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Vanoc helping fund female ski jumpers who have sued to get into Games

Vancouver organizers feel ‘caught in the middle’ in legal dispute

By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

April 22, 2009

The organizers of the Vancouver Olympics said Wednesday they have been providing financial and logistical help to the female ski jumpers who are suing to get women’s ski jumping into the 2010 Winter Games.

The money and assistance, including the use of company vehicles and accommodation services, were delivered over the 2008-09 winter season to help the athletes prepare for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, said Renee Smith-Valade, a Vanoc spokeswoman.

The information was made public moments before Vanoc’s lawyers opened their rebuttal argument to a lawsuit by 15 elite women athletes who say Vanoc it is in breach of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Vanoc lawyer George Macintosh said Vanoc sympathizes with the athletes, but that they’re going after the wrong defendants.

“Frankly, Vanoc feels caught a little bit in the middle,” Macintosh said.

“We truly understand how disappointed the women ski jumpers are that they are not on the program for the 2010 Winter Games,” Smith-Valade said. “If anyone understands Olympic dreams, we do. Unfortunately for them, the reality is the decision is made by the [international Olympic Committee].”

Smith-Valade said Vanoc gave the women free access to training jumps at Whistler Olympic Park. The women were the first to use the new jump.

“We staged two national and one international competition, we’ve assisted them with their expenses, including their accommodation and transportation, and we’ve offered a number of ski-jumping introductory courses to get more women involved in the sport,” Smith-Valade said.

She didn’t know how much that had cost Vanoc.

But Macintosh said that effort doesn’t equate to a responsibility to put on a women’s event in 2010. In remarks to Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon, he rejected the women’s argument that Vanoc is controlled by several Canadian governments, or is carrying out government policy by organizing and staging the Games.

Such a finding, as the women want Fenlon to make, would mean Vanoc is violating the Charter and would either have to hold ski jump events for both men and women, or none at all.

Macintosh said the IOC owns and organizes the Games. It directs Vanoc as its agent, even though many of the members of Vanoc’s board of directors are appointed by governments.

He suggested the IOC would never allow any government to directly tell it what sports to put on.

“It is a fundamental point that the IOC alone determines the sports and disciplines of any sports in any Olympics,” he said. “The IOC controls every facet of Vanoc’s operations.”

The women’s lawyer, Ross Clark, wrapped up two days of argument on Tuesday by saying Vanoc had on nearly 200 occasions argued in trademark applications that it is controlled by government. Macintosh said that argument doesn’t apply because Vanoc was applying under legislation that also applies to a variety of non-government agencies.

The stakes in the case are so high that Macintosh said in his written argument that if Vanoc tried to depart from a signed contract it has with the IOC, “it is very unlikely the Games would be held in Canada again in the foreseeable future.”

Margot Young, a law professor at the University of B.C. said the case is significant because it will more clearly define arguments around sexual discrimination, for which there is not a lot of case law.:rolleyes:

But she also believes Vanoc did not argue with the IOC more forcefully in prior years that “these are Canadian Games” where gender equality applies. Helping the athletes plan for the 2014 Games isn’t good enough, she said.

Neither the IOC nor the federal, provincial and municipal government partners are named in the case and none of them have asked for intervenor status. The IOC has declined to comment.

However, Vancouver Coun. Ellen Woodsworth said current and past city councils all favoured female ski jumpers being allowed to participate. She said if Fenlon rules in favour of the women, council will once again call for Vanoc and the IOC to include an event for them in 2010.

jefflee@vancouversun.com

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

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Vanoc helping fund female ski jumpers who have sued to get into Games

Vancouver organizers feel ‘caught in the middle’ in legal dispute

By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

April 22, 2009

The organizers of the Vancouver Olympics said Wednesday they have been providing financial and logistical help to the female ski jumpers who are suing to get women’s ski jumping into the 2010 Winter Games.

The money and assistance, including the use of company vehicles and accommodation services, were delivered over the 2008-09 winter season to help the athletes prepare for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, said Renee Smith-Valade, a Vanoc spokeswoman.

The information was made public moments before Vanoc’s lawyers opened their rebuttal argument to a lawsuit by 15 elite women athletes who say Vanoc it is in breach of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Vanoc lawyer George Macintosh said Vanoc sympathizes with the athletes, but that they’re going after the wrong defendants.

“Frankly, Vanoc feels caught a little bit in the middle,” Macintosh said.

“We truly understand how disappointed the women ski jumpers are that they are not on the program for the 2010 Winter Games,” Smith-Valade said. “If anyone understands Olympic dreams, we do. Unfortunately for them, the reality is the decision is made by the [international Olympic Committee].”

Smith-Valade said Vanoc gave the women free access to training jumps at Whistler Olympic Park. The women were the first to use the new jump.

“We staged two national and one international competition, we’ve assisted them with their expenses, including their accommodation and transportation, and we’ve offered a number of ski-jumping introductory courses to get more women involved in the sport,” Smith-Valade said.

She didn’t know how much that had cost Vanoc.

But Macintosh said that effort doesn’t equate to a responsibility to put on a women’s event in 2010. In remarks to Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon, he rejected the women’s argument that Vanoc is controlled by several Canadian governments, or is carrying out government policy by organizing and staging the Games.

Such a finding, as the women want Fenlon to make, would mean Vanoc is violating the Charter and would either have to hold ski jump events for both men and women, or none at all.

Macintosh said the IOC owns and organizes the Games. It directs Vanoc as its agent, even though many of the members of Vanoc’s board of directors are appointed by governments.

He suggested the IOC would never allow any government to directly tell it what sports to put on.

“It is a fundamental point that the IOC alone determines the sports and disciplines of any sports in any Olympics,” he said. “The IOC controls every facet of Vanoc’s operations.”

The women’s lawyer, Ross Clark, wrapped up two days of argument on Tuesday by saying Vanoc had on nearly 200 occasions argued in trademark applications that it is controlled by government. Macintosh said that argument doesn’t apply because Vanoc was applying under legislation that also applies to a variety of non-government agencies.

The stakes in the case are so high that Macintosh said in his written argument that if Vanoc tried to depart from a signed contract it has with the IOC, “it is very unlikely the Games would be held in Canada again in the foreseeable future.”

Margot Young, a law professor at the University of B.C. said the case is significant because it will more clearly define arguments around sexual discrimination, for which there is not a lot of case law.:rolleyes:

But she also believes Vanoc did not argue with the IOC more forcefully in prior years that “these are Canadian Games” where gender equality applies. Helping the athletes plan for the 2014 Games isn’t good enough, she said.

Neither the IOC nor the federal, provincial and municipal government partners are named in the case and none of them have asked for intervenor status. The IOC has declined to comment.

However, Vancouver Coun. Ellen Woodsworth said current and past city councils all favoured female ski jumpers being allowed to participate. She said if Fenlon rules in favour of the women, council will once again call for Vanoc and the IOC to include an event for them in 2010.

jefflee@vancouversun.com

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

If VANOC loses the suit, that should come as a wake-up call to the IOC that their ridiculous idea of having government (i.e., taxpayers' money) guarantee their party is TOTALLY WRONg and only self-serving -- because if their charter requires the IOC to use taxdollars, then all those facilities funded by state funds, SHOULD INDEED be accessble to ALL equally. If only all the MALE taxpayers' funds were used to build the ski jumps, then VANOC and the IOC would have a legitimate reason to deny women the right to jump there. But since no delineation is made as to which section of the population paid for the facility, then the FEMALE taxpayers indeed do have a right to say: Include us!!

Outcome of the lawsuit: privately funded Games like those put on in the US, would make the Games invulnerable from suits such as these bending the IOC's arm. It's simple math -- and sometimes I don't see how the IOC doesn't get it.

And it should boost Chicago's chances vs. the other three heavily funded by people's money.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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The facilities will be accessible to all. But just not during Olympic competition. You have to qualify to get in. Things like Eddie the Eagle from Calgary days brought about the desire to have higher standards of competition for all Olympic events. You get in because you qualify, not because you showed up. It is an earned berth. Not a birth right.

And the way the IOC is set up, well it is more of an international brand/franchise than an international association. The dollars it receives are investments in the brand by cities, countries, and companies wanting to get behind it. I don't see how this will change that.

This issue here is about whether or not female ski jumping is developed enough to be at the Olympics. For 2010, it isn't. It isn't about equality because if so, rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming then must also be removed or include male competitors.

I think the IOC has been pretty good at equalizing gender at the Games, especially in the past decade. This is a long way from the 1920s when it was considered controversial to have women's track events. We're even getting women's boxing in 2012.

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Quoting from the Globe and Mail.

Political Solutions from Kitchener, Canada writes: I still maintain that the women have no right, at this current time, to jump in the Olympics. I also oppose their lawsuit which will waste Canadian taxpayer dollars so they can fight an indpendent, international organization that is not beholden to our laws. If anything they have a bit of grounds to push that the Olympics violate our Charter (I don't think they do - everyone needs to meet the same requirements to get into the Olympics), and shouldn't be held in Canada.

This is a case of selfish, "If we can't do it we'll ruin it for everyone else." as far as I'm concerned.

If they want to jump in the Olympics they should have pushed to have themselves included as a 'demonstration sport' like wushu in Beijing. This will give demonstratable evidence as to whether or not there is enough interest in the event for future Olympic Games.

I oppose, without reservation, the path these women are taking. I consider them selfish, sexist, ignorant, and unethical.

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Quoting from the Globe and Mail.

My best guess is that the court will dismiss the case, saying it doesn't have jurisdiction in an event that is the property of an entity based in another country.

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Supreme Court judge reserves judgment in female ski jumping case

By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun - April 24, 2009

A judge has reserved judgment in the case of female ski jumpers who are fighting to be included in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

After five days of hearings, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon said the issues behind the case are "very complex" and that she needed time to consider all the arguments.

But with time running out before the Games begin in February, the Vancouver Organizing Committee said Friday it is not making any changes to its sports and television programming unless the case goes against it.

"We need to move on with what's certain, and what's certain is that we have a men's event on the program," said Renee Smith-Valade, a Vanoc spokeswoman. She said if the court rules against Vanoc, the committee would comply, even though it would interfere with existing plans and possibly cause other athletes to be knocked out of attending because of athlete accreditation limits.

Fifteen female ski jumpers took Vanoc to court seeking a declaration that the committee is not upholding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it is hosting competitions for male jumpers but not for women. They argued that if Vanoc doesn't uphold the Charter, it can't put on events for the men.

Vanoc has argued the program is up to the International Olympic Committee, which has said the women are not ready for competition. It also says that the IOC as a foreign body is not obliged to follow the Charter.

Outside of court, several of the young women said they would were proud to have challenged the IOC's ruling and said they would not retire even if they lose.

Canadian champion Zoya Lynch said she didn't agree with comments made last year by Canadian IOC member Dick Pound, who warned they would only "piss people off" by taking the matter to court.

"I think that just goes to show the Old World thinking on the IOC, and how it really needs to be changed," Lynch said. "Just sit and look pretty and don't speak your mind. We're speaking our minds and trying to change the way women's sports are in 2010."

Deedee Corradini, the president of Womens Ski Jumping USA, said in the event the judge sides with the women, she believes the IOC would cave in and put on an event for them rather than cancel the mens' events.

"The IOC is controlled by Europeans. In Europe, ski-jumping is huge, the guys are rock stars," she said. "I can almost assure you from my perspective there is no way men are not going to be jumping in 2010."

Vanoc lawyer George Macintosh also backed away from an assertion he made in his brief that the IOC would likely not hold an Olympics in Canada again for a long time if the case went in favour of the women. After Denver, Colorado gave the 1976 Games back to the IOC in the middle of a financial crisis, the IOC still awarded the United States another Games.

"It is not a place that I wanted to take the case. I didn't want to make an argument to the court that this would be a desperate consequence if we didn't succeed," Macintosh said. Asked if he was backing away from the argument, he said yes.

jefflee@vancouversun.com

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

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Heads up to everyone: the decision is (finally) expected tomorrow. Both parties will have the opportunity to appeal.

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There is no president for this in Canada, the Canadian courts are a lot more conservative than our American friends, especially the lower courts. Hopefully the judge does not embarrass this country on an international stage.

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There is no president for this in Canada, the Canadian courts are a lot more conservative than our American friends, especially the lower courts. Hopefully the judge does not embarrass this country on an international stage.

You mean "precedent"?

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fingers crossed. i hope the right decision is made. deedee corradini should shut up and should've done this when she was mayor of SLC and when SLC got the games not when its Vancouver's time.

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Not sure how i weigh in on this one, It may be that the IOC pulls the ski jump events and holds them in another city. Is this a BC ruling or the SCC? They could hold the ski jump in Calgary or Salt Lake. How many women are there that compete in this event? 25 or 30?

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Not sure how i weigh in on this one, It may be that the IOC pulls the ski jump events and holds them in another city. Is this a BC ruling or the SCC? They could hold the ski jump in Calgary or Salt Lake. How many women are there that compete in this event? 25 or 30?

In another city? How can I leave Vancouver/Whistler during the Olympics only to see ski jumping in another city if the other events I am going to are in Vancouver and Whistler? I hope ticketholders can get their money back if they cancel the events or if the replace it to another city.

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In another city? How can I leave Vancouver/Whistler during the Olympics only to see ski jumping in another city if the other events I am going to are in Vancouver and Whistler? I hope ticketholders can get their money back if they cancel the events or if the replace it to another city.

I'm sure they would refund tickets, I seem to remember an issue with the equestrian events in 1956, they ended up moving them to Europe and kept the rest of the events in Melbourne.

Not sure I like the idea of suing your way into the Olympics.

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No; they won't.

Welll, #1 - there will probably be appeals at the CAS.

#2 - Any decisions there will probably force VANOC to say that they don't have enough time and resources to put on a full competition. So my guess is that the best VANOC can do is to throw in another day of competition but not support it fully with staff, ticketing, promotion etc. (Altho of course that'll mean an extra day of revenues also.)

Cancellation would not be realistic nor too sporting. After all, higher circles have to know how to lose gracefully too.

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I've met Lauri Ann Fenlon (a really nice lady), and I must say that she made the only judgment possible. Yeah, it ain't fair, but it is the way it is. Suing VANOC was the wrong decision. They should have gone after the IOC.

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I've met Lauri Ann Fenlon (a really nice lady), and I must say that she made the only judgment possible. Yeah, it ain't fair, but it is the way it is. Suing VANOC was the wrong decision. They should have gone after the IOC.

Agree.

This was NOT a VANOC decision. It is a decision of the IOC.

While I support women's ski jumping, I also support the IOC criteria for accepting new disciplines and sports. The line has to be drawn somewhere; the argument is really WHERE to draw the line.

Considering the number of "sports" that want into the Olympic Games and OWG, there have to be some criteria or standards that must be met. We may disagree about what those standards or criteria may be, but there just isn't room for every sport to be in the Olympics.

Not a pleasant situation, but that's the way it is.

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Yes. If the sport hasn't developed enough, can it really be included at the Olympic level? The controversy has likely raised the level of awareness and interest in the sport so it is bound to grow and be included in a future WOG. But on the reverse side of the coin, the sports of male synchronized swimming and male rhythmic gymnastics are not on the program. One of VANOC's own sponsors (BCLC, I believe) went so far as to create an ad campaign that essentially made fun of that idea. Isn't that discriminatory as well?

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Yes. If the sport hasn't developed enough, can it really be included at the Olympic level? The controversy has likely raised the level of awareness and interest in the sport so it is bound to grow and be included in a future WOG. But on the reverse side of the coin, the sports of male synchronized swimming and male rhythmic gymnastics are not on the program. One of VANOC's own sponsors (BCLC, I believe) went so far as to create an ad campaign that essentially made fun of that idea. Isn't that discriminatory as well?

In all seriousness though, I don't think male synchro and male rhythmic gymnastics are practiced anywhere in credible numbers. You could probably count true practitioners of the male side of those 2 sports on your fingers and toes.

BTW, whatever happened to the trampoline events? I really liked those...but I think only men also participated in that one.

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