It wasn’t the worst news that supporters of women’s ski jumping could have received. It wasn’t the best, either. In a statement released yesterday, the IOC stated that it looked “favorably” on women’s ski jumping being added to the 2014 Olympics, but that a final decision would not be made until after the world championships next year. Yet again, women’s ski jumping has not been given a final clearance for take-off. But it is the most promising news the sport has received, and as jumper Lindsey Van told USA Today, “They didn’t say no, so we’re headed in the right direction.” (Click here for the article.)
Also looked upon “favorably” for inclusion for the other bidders: biathlon mixed relay, snowboard slopestyle, team events for luge and figure skating, slopestyle skiing, and half-pipe skiing. These events will face more review and a final vote in 2011. The one event which wasn’t approved (and I did not mention it in my 10/24 post) was a team event in alpine skiing. Other than women’s ski jumping, this was the only event which seemed to make the most sense, yeet it wasn’t included.
The IOC defended its decisions (or lack thereof) by not wanting to hastily allow in new sports before ensuring there is enough depth. Yet the organization completely contradicted itself when it also announced that women’s hockey would undoubtedly remain in the 2014 Olympics. Women’s hockey has failed to produce enough depth from other countries other than USA and Canada. The IOC has allowed it to remain an Olympic event while criticizing women’s ski jumping for lack of depth. Unless my facts are wrong, women’s ski jumping fielded 69 competitors in its Continental Cup final standings, only 21 fewer competitors than the men’s World Cup final rankings. Not too shabby for a sport that barely can find sponsors! Women’s Ski Jumping has already proven itself, and the field will only grow deeper once IOC recognition happens, as more sponsors will be begging to support the new and exciting Olympic event.
It seems that the IOC and I just don’t see eye to eye. Call me, Mr. Rogge. We need to talk!
Swifter, Higher, Stronger.