Tag Archives: women’s ski jumping

The Most Important Event at Sochi’s Games

Gorki“The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night.” – Amelia Earhart

When someone asks me which event(s) I recommend watching during an Olympic Games, my typical response is, “Watch all  of  it!”  Yes, I still stand by this.  As a fanatic I believe that all of the Olympics are worth watching.  However,  if one isn’t going to tune in for all of the competition, I can say without doubt that there is one event in Sochi worthy of everyone’s attention:  Women’s ski jumping.

Back in 2010 I wrote a lengthy commentary on gender bias in Olympic sports, focusing on the ridiculous and inexcusable exclusion of women’s ski jumping from the Olympics.  The fact that in the 21st Century women’s

Pioneer and Olympian Lindsey Van (Photo:  WSJ-USA)

Pioneer and Olympian Lindsey Van (Photo: WSJ-USA)

ski jumping still wasn’t a part of the Olympic Games….Well, I still can’t wrap my head around it.  Yet thankfully with all the tireless efforts of athletes, coaches, and various sponsors, women are finally getting their opportunity to compete in Olympic ski jumping.  The historical event will begin tomorrow (Tuesday), February 11 with the normal hill  competition.  Pioneers like Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome who fought tirelessly for equality and inclusion in the Olympics are finally seeing the fruits of their labor.  And compared to what they’ve endured over the years to earn their place in the Olympics, launching off a 70-meter hill might be less daunting.

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Women ski jumpers will finally have an Olympic podium. (Stanko Gruden/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe)

As a child I was inspired by the story of Amelia Earhart.  The tales of her courageous adventurous spirit and her belief in gender equality helped make me who I am today.  How many young girls out there have been–and will be–inspired by Lindsey Van Jessica Jerome, or Sara Takanashi?  How many of them watching this week will be encouraged by these athletes’ bold determination, mesmerized as they watch them soar through the air under a Sochi evening sky? Regardless of who will be standing on the podium tomorrow night, all of Sochi’s female jumpers deserve role model status.  Their dogged determination, conviction, and bravery is to be celebrated. Their gallantry deserves the gratitude of all women, old and young.

There will be other memorable stirring moments in these Olympics.  But tomorrow night when the first and last jumpers speed down the hill and launch themselves into the frosty air, history will be made.  And to all of them, I say: Thanks.

Faster, Higher, Stronger.

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Filed under 2014 Sochi Olympics, Ski Jumping

Jerome Headed for Hall of Fame–Are Olympics Next?

Women’s ski jumping might not yet be in the Olympics (decision is still pending), but it continues to gain respect.  For the second year in a row, the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame (ASJHF) has included a female in its list of athletes for its December induction.  Congratulations to Jessica Jerome for being selected as an inductee this year!

AP Photo

The full press release of Jerome’s selection and ceremony details can be found at the Women’s Ski Jumping USA page.

Typically an athlete is inducted into his or her sport’s halls of fame after a lengthy career and numerous medals, which often  includes a gold, silver, or bronze from the Olympics.  Yet for Jerome, her hall of fame induction is coming first without any Olympic medal hung around her neck.  While Jerome is a veteran ski jumper with numerous victories, she still has not been allowed to compete in the Olympics.

A decision on whether female jumpers will be allowed to compete in the 2014 Games is pending, with a decision coming in March or April 2011.  Until it gains acceptance by all, the ladies will continue to need funding to cover training and travel costs.  Unlike their male counterparts in the sport, they do not receive funding from the US Ski & Snowboard Association.

Congrats again to Jessica, who truly embodies the Olympic motto:

Swifter, Higher, Stronger.

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Women’s Ski Jumping Approved? Well, Sort of….

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.)

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Filed under Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Luge, Olympic Fever, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding

Important Decisions for IOC in Acapulco

Today the IOC began a three-day meeting in Acapulco, Mexico.  Aside from the palm trees, azure waters, and warm sun, IOC officials have some important issues to discuss.  Ironically, while they are all gathered in a sunny, tropical destination, they will be voting on issues concerning sporting events which are hoping for inclusion in frigid snow-covered host cities, beginning in 2014.

The IOC could create an American Idol-style show for IOC Committee results and I’d watch.  I can imagine ESPN or NBC hosting the show, with Bob Costas or Rod Black as the emcee.  They’d revel in keeping the audience enticed:

“And, now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  Will women’s ski jumping be included in the 2014 Winter Olympics, held in Sochi, Russia?  We’ll find out…right after the break.”
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Filed under Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Figure Skating, Luge, Olympic Fever, Ski Jumping

Promising News for Women’s Ski Jumping!

Women’s Ski Jumping USA just posted some promising news!  Click here to read about this announcement.

These qualified athletes still haven’t been allowed to compete in the Olympics, but today’s news makes me hopeful that such a wrongful exclusion will soon be corrected.

Don’t forget that female jumpers are still in urgent need of funding and support.  More information on how to help can be found here.

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