POSTED: April 6th 2011

Campaign rewarded as women's ski jumping makes it to the Winter Games

Christophe Dubi: announcing history for the IOC / lake images
Christophe Dubi: announcing history for the IOC / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE at SportAccord / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Apr 06: At last, after a five-year campaign, public protests and threats of legal action, women’s ski-jumping has made it on to the Winter Olympics programme at the Sochi Games in 2014.

The event is among six approved for Sochi by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee meeting in London alongside the SportAccord convention, a sort of annual meeting for world sport.

“This is a great day with the executive board deciding to introduce six new events . . . this is unprecedented. It should be an extremely exciting programme,” said Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s sports director.

Other new events are ski halfpipe for men and women, women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay. Decisions were postponed until June on six other events depend on further discussions with the international skiing federation (FIS) and the Sochi organisers.

Explaining the decision on women’s ski-jumping, Dubi said: “If you consider the latest world championship [in Oslo] with the previous one there is much more quality and depth compared with Liberec in 2009 when there were only a handful of good jumpers. It has much more quality than two years ago which is incredibly fast progress.”

Next step

The 2009 champion, Lindsey Van, said she was “thrilled” at the decision. She added: “I started ski jumping when there were no international women’s competitions. Women’s ski jumping has been growing over the past 10 years but what out sport needed was Olympic inclusion to take the next step.”

Deedee Corradini, president of Women’s Ski Jumping USA, said: “We are elated. Sochi can proudly proclaim that it will be hosting the first gender-equal Winter Games in Olympic history.”

The IOC’s executive board also heard reports on the London 2012 Games from Lord Coe, on the 2016 Rio Games from co-ordination commission leader Nawal El Moutawakel and also on the first Winter Youth Games in Innsbruck in 2012 and on the second summer YOG in Nanjing in 2014.

American Alpine skier and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn is to be the first Winter Youth Olympic Games Ambassador.

Nominations to the IOC to be confirmed by the 2011 Session in Durban in July were Jose Perurena Lopez (Spain, canoeing), Gerardo Werthein (Argentina) and Barbara Kendall (New Zealand).

In terms of NOC business, representatives from Israel and Palestine will return to Lausanne in May for further discussions over Middle East complexities; Ghana remains suspended but progress was being made; and Panama may be suspended as a protective measure.

Finally, floorball was recognised as an Olympic sport.

Keywords · IOC · SportAccord · women's ski jumping · Dubi

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