Sexual Discrimination Alive and Well in Cananda

Saturday, November 14, 2009
In amongst my news clips this morning about Obama's trip to Asia, NASA saying that they did indeed find water on the moon, and word that a group of alleged terrorists being held in Guantanamo are going to be moved to New York to stand trial (yeah, that's a good way to ensure a fair trial...don't get me started), I found this story about the Olympics. Now, there are aspects about the Olympics that I'm not thrilled about, most notably the most recent summer games taking place in China, but this isn't what I'm going to talk about today. Nope, it's the fact that sexual discrimination is alive and well here in my own backyard.

A group of American and Canadian female ski jumpers have been trying to get the Vancouver Olympic Committee to include their sport in the 2010 winter olympic games. They took their case to court and I'm sad to report that the British Columbia Court of Appeal has denied them the opportunity.

"In that ruling, Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon said that while it was discriminatory to exclude the women's event, Vancouver's Olympic organizing committee (VANOC) could not be held responsible."

While I agree that ultimately the International Olympic Committee, the IOC, should be the ones to make the final decision, there would have been greater pressure on the IOC if Vancouver officials had chosen to include the sport, even as a demonstration sport, in the upcoming winter games. Now, the women have to sit on the sidelines and watch as male skiers are allowed to compete and win medals and glory in their sport. The case made by the female athletes included the argument that VANOC is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees gender equality. Well, it seems that the olympics don't fall within the charter's parameters, I guess.

Oh, want to know why the women's ski jumping hasn't been sanctioned by the IOC?

"The IOC voted in 2006 not to include women's ski jumping at the Games, saying the sport had not met the required technical criteria."



sp said...

"Technical criteria?" It's clear that the IOC isn't listening. It needs to allow the women ski jumpers to compete. How else will more women participate?

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