Is It Fair To Have Women Test Olympic Ski Jumps, But Not Let Them Compete?

I was interested to find out that before men compete in the Olympic ski jump competition and the Nordic combined, that women are testing out the hills for them. This is particularly noteworthy considering that women are barred from competing in these two events. And yet two women agreed to act as forerunners—the athletes that test out the jumps and runs to make sure conditions are optimal—in ski jumping this year. While these two ladies seem to be thrilled to be involved in the Olympics at all, other world-class female skiers are not cool with them participating and refused invitations to participate as forerunners because they believe it sends a message that it’s OK for women to watch from the sidelines. In fact, some female skiers were so upset about not being able to compete in 2012, that 15 of them filed a lawsuit in the Canadian courts. But the Supreme Court ruled against them. I can understand why they’re so pissed. If women are good enough to test the runs, why can’t they compete on them? The International Olympic Committee says it’s because the category does not have enough elite female competitors at this time, but the International Ski Federation claims that’s certainly not the case. Here’s hoping that women will be allowed to compete in 2014—the I.O.C. will vote on the matter again next year. Hopefully, they’ll give it a thumbs-up then, along with pole dancing. Until then, some skilled women forerunners will pave the way for the male Olympians and the others will roll their eyes on the sidelines. Ahhh, feminism. [New York Times]

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