VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Female ski jumpers have sued the Vancouver organizing committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, claiming that gender discrimination unlawfully excludes them from competing.
“The exclusion of a women’s ski jumping event from the games demeans the dignity of women who practice, have practiced and wish to practice ski jumping at a high level by continuing a pattern of denial of opportunities available to their male colleagues,” the complaint states in B.C. Supreme Court. “Stereotypes have prevented women from full participation in the sport of ski jumping since its inception.”
Male jumpers are well funded and supported, while female jumpers are left “to fend for themselves until very recently,” the complaint states.
The Olympic charter requires women’s events to be practiced in at least 35 countries on three continents, but the plaintiffs claim that “multiple Olympic Winter events fail to meet” that threshold. The defendant has admitted that the schedule for the games “provides ample time” to add the event, the complaint states.
The nine named plaintiffs demand an injunction requiring the defendant to hold a women’s ski jumping event and an injunction preventing it from holding a men’s ski jumping event if women are not allowed to compete.
The ski jumpers are represented by D. Ross Clark with Davis LLP.