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Female ski jumpers lose last bid to compete at Olympics

World Champion and United States national team member Lindsey Van - 25/3/2009
World champion Lindsey Van was one of those seeking to overturn the rule

Female ski jumpers have lost their final bid to compete at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The Supreme Court of Canada has said that it will not hear an appeal by the ski jumpers.

They were seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that allowed Vancouver organisers to hold a men's ski jumping competition but not a women's event.

The ski jumpers claimed that the decision violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The lower courts ruled that the charter does not apply to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who decides what sports are included in the games.

The women first launched a lawsuit against local organisers in May 2008, 18 months after the IOC decided to exclude women's ski jumping from the Games because it didn't meet the necessary criteria for inclusion.

This is about human rights and discrimination

Deedee Corradini, president of Women's Ski Jumping USA

The IOC requires that a sport must have contested at least two world championships before it can become an Olympic event while there are also rules dictating how far in advance of an Olympics a sport can be added to the programme.

The women wanted the courts to force Vancouver organizers to either add a women's event or cancel the men's.

The women, including world champion Lindsay Van, said they had held enough international events since May 2008 to qualify for consideration as an Olympic sport and said it wouldn't be difficult for organisers to accommodate one additional event.

They dropped a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission when the federal government agreed to lobby the IOC. When that failed, they pursued a court case.

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 both a men's and women's competition. All new sports allowed into the Games must have both.

"Although we are hugely disappointed by the Supreme Court's refusal to hear us this time, we won't give up. This is about human rights and discrimination and it's a wrong that must be righted," said Deedee Corradini, president of Women's Ski Jumping USA.

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see also
Ski jumping
03 Nov 09 |  Winter Sports
Women fight Olympic ski jump ban
21 Apr 09 |  Americas
Female jumpers snubbed by Rogge
25 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Women ski jumpers lose legal bid
11 Jul 09 |  Olympics

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