1.09.2009

What Came First, the Chicken or the Unbelievable Sexist PIG?!

The IOC for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 voted against including the women's ski jump. It is the only sport in which there is a men's competition, but no women's competition. I looked at their reasons, and they seem reasonable.

You see what I did there? My headline implies one bias, but the article is far more even-handed. I took a page from the Vancouver Sun, which ran the story under the banner, "Women ski jumping would `water down' Olympic medals, Rogge says." Read the story and you find out that he said it because there are only 80 women ski jumpers in the world, as compared with hundreds of competitors in the other sports who have to compete within their own countries to qualify for the olympics. Including a sport with such a small participation would, in effect, make it too easy to win a medal. It is not a gender issue at all. Rogge - the commissioner - said as much.

There are lots of good arguments against this position: This isn't the only sport with a small base. Think of reperchage, javelin, women's velodrome, doubles still-water canoeing. A lot of people get into those sports just because it makes it easier to get to the olympic level in an obscure sport. There is something to be said for equality for equality's sake. And, more importantly, including the sport would create the participation you say it lacks for the next olympics. If that's the case, I would imagine that the right move is to make this an exhibition sport this time around. I think we can fault them for not doing that much at least.

1 comment:

bachrach44 said...

Ski jumping is not a sport where one gender has an inherent advantage over the other (meaning neither flexibility nor physical size play a big role). Eliminate the gender difference and let the men and women compete together with no regard to sex.

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