Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{January 8, 2008}   WTF

Did you know that women’s ski jumping isn’t an Olympic sport? Did you know that there were any Olympic sports where men can play but women can’t?

I had no idea until I read this news article and this news article. Apparently, female ski jumpers filled a gender discrimination complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission back in September and a decision is expected soon.

Remind me again what year this is? 1908?

In related news, what would possess someone to name their child “Dick Pound“?

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Jay says:

Weird, I just now heard about this story, like 10 minutes ago. Silly ESPN, imagine actually learning something from that!



Rebecca says:

I remember hearing about that during the last Olympics. Serious, WTF? There was some really poor excuse, like women have a different centre of gravity and therefore can’t jump as far. But really – if you’re willing to jump in the first place, then why not let them do it in the Olympics?

(Then there’s the reverse argument – why isn’t there men’s synchronized swimming? There’s no real reason not to let them in if they’re so inclined)

As to Dick Pound – why on god’s green earth would you tout your professional name as something that sounds like a porn name? Yes, I can understand you wanting to rise above the juvenile mindset of the majority of the population, but really? We’re not that mature, sadly.



Beth says:

Jay – Ya, why is this just in the news now, when they filed that appeal in Sept? And it’s not like the announcement of the decision has come out yet, so I’m not sure why the media chose yesterday to report on it.

Rebecca – There totally should be men’s synchronized swimming. I didn’t realize there wasn’t, but then I hadn’t really thought about it. And seriously, why doesn’t Dick go by Richard Pound professionally? Because you are right – we just aren’t that mature (at least, I’m not!)



barkingspace says:

I have to say that the people who have filed this complaint may have done more harm than good.

For events to make it into the Olympics, there are a certain number of rules that need to be followed.

Viability of sport is important, for instance. You can’t have an olympic event that no one has any interest in.

And while there is certainly a viewership for female ski-jumping. The IOC won’t have any of it unless the marketability can be proven.

You’re not going to have events in the olympics that are not going to draw an audience, right?

Unless I am wrong, there hasn’t really been a female-only world championship for ski-jumping. At least, no even that has been branded as such. If the various associations involved could have pulled together an event last year, I guarantee you that the IOC would have brought this side of the sport into the fold.

I’m sure a lot of people are wagging their fingers at the IOC over this matter. I don’t particularly care for the organization (or the actual event) myself (I admire the participants, though), but the IOC would really be the last group to do something boneheaded due to their already taxed reputation.



Beth says:

Jorge – You are wrong. There has been a world championship. From the second of the two articles I linked to:

“Those advocating women’s participation contend that there are over 100 women from 16 countries competing in the sport’s global circuit. They’ve even held a world championship. But the IOC says the sport needs to have two world competitions. This requirement, however, has been waived for sports — such as bobsledding — in the past.”



barkingspace says:

In my searches to find out when this competition was, I have only come across references to “The first women’s world championships being held next year”.

I listened to a radio interview with one of the mom’s of the women ski-jumpers, and while she made reference to a world competition, she never said when it was, and seemed to avoid answering questions in general.

In any case, I’m not against the female side of the sport being an official olympic event.

I’m just saying that by unreasonably escalating this to a human-rights related issue, they may have harmed their credibility.

That’s all.



Beth says:

I happen to consider women’s rights to be a human rights issues, so I don’t see this as a “unreasonable escalation.” And it doesn’t seem to have hurt their credibility, as I haven’t heard of anyone (other than you) thinking it was unreasonable issue to bring to the Human Rights Commission. On the contrary, they seem to have a lot of support, including federal Olympic Minister David Emerson. (My feelings about Emerson notwithstanding).



barkingspace says:

Certainly Women’s Rights are a Human Rights issue.

This is not the argument.

The issue is that there should have been more organization on the part of those wanting this to be part of the collection of Olympic events.

This argument should end here, as it wasn’t my intention to have my opinion construed as an attack on women in general. Because anyone who associates with me knows that I believe in equality.

If Men’s Synchronized Swimming was going through the same hurdles, my opinion would be no different.

Want your sport to be part of the olympics? You’d better get orgainzed and kick some ass with enough time for the slow-moving IOC to implement the changes.

Or bribe them.



barkingspace says:

Oops.
Forgot my last point.

When the Government gets involved in anything, it makes me wonder what THEIR agenda is.

Considering that the Prime Minister has allowed a Nuclear Plant to be fired up with a “please fix any problems in the next 120 days” caveat makes me wonder if supporting something deemed as worthy would make up for boneheaded decisions…



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