As you may or may not be aware, the Olympics currently only allow for men to compete in ski jumping. So, in honor of that blatant discrimination (and because the US Ski Jumping Championships were held roughly 30 minutes away from my home), I thought I would take a moment to describe what was happening on the front.
At the Nationals competition I watched Lindsey Van win her 15th national title. At one time she held the world record (for BOTH men and women) for ski jumping. Fortunately, since I’m a super celebrity (and I have an in with the cool peeps in Park City, Utah), I snagged Lindsey Van and chatted with her for a second after the competition to discuss where women’s ski jumping is.
Among other things, we discussed why women’s ski jumping isn’t allowed in the Olympics. She said:
“I’m not really sure why women’s ski jumping isn’t allowed. They’ve told us a lot of different reasons based on technical issues, but honestly I just think they’re scared to have women …
… jump on the same level as men. Women a lot of the times can jump as far as the guys, and a lot of times it’s hard to differentiate between the two from a spectator point of view.”
We also discussed what it meant for women to be included in the Olympics:
“This is really what our sport needs to move forward, especially with sponsorship. No corporate sponsors want to touch us right now.”
To me, this hypocrisy is unpalatable. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that this is even still an issue. There is absolutely no reason why these women shouldn’t be allowed to compete, especially when they are competitive with the male jumpers. It is the only sport in the winter games that only allows men to compete.
If you feel so inclined, since they don’t have the kind of sponsorship that Olympic sports do, you can help by donating to the cause on their website to help pay for equipment and travel expenses and for being really kick ass in general.
I suppose we’ll have to see how this pans out.