11 Jul 2009

Women ski jumpers can't compete in 2010 Winter Olympics

11:37 am on 11 July 2009

A Canadian judge has rejected a bid by female ski jumpers to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon said on Friday that a ruling by the International Olympic Committee cannot be challenged under Canada's civil rights laws.

However, she agreed they were being discriminated against.

Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since 1924, but is one of the few events in either the Winter or Summer Games to not have a women's competition. All new sports allowed into the Games must have both.

The IOC has refused to sanction women's ski jumping in the Games, arguing that not enough women are competing in the sport worldwide for it to qualify as an Olympic event.

A group of 15 current and former international women ski jumpers sued the Vancouver Organizing Committee on the grounds that, as the host and organizer of the 2010 Games, VANOC was required to abide by Canadian law.

Howevr, the IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is not directly bound by Canadian laws.