Go ahead and JUMP!

Around the time of the 2010 Winter Olympics, I blogged about the exclusion of women from one particular sport: ski jumping. Ski jumping was one of the two sports at the Winter Games that was open to men but not to women.

Many people have voiced the opinion that sexism was at the root of this exclusion, since women like America’s Lindsey Van had proved themselves more than capable of jumping and jumping well – in some cases, better than the men. Oh, and we also suspected that sexism was at play because one member of the International Ski Federation explained why women were unfit to jump by saying, “Don’t forget, it’s like jumping down from, let’s say, about two meters on the ground about a thousand times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.”

Well, it’s a sad day for that ISF member and everyone else who is Very Concerned About Ovaries, because the International Olympic Committee just decided that beginning in 2014, women’s ski jumping will be an event at the Winter Games!

Lindsey Van says she’s relieved at the decision. “We worked really hard for this,” she told the Associated Press. “It feels really good to finally finish it. It’s just a big relief for me and I’m really excited for the future of the sport.”

Photo: CBC

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    Amazing what happens when you let women make their own decision about their own bodies.

  • http://feministing.com/members/veroniqueb/ Véronique

    I linked to a story on this yesterday on Facebook. I am overjoyed! I wish it had happened for the 2010 games, but at least it has finally happened.

    I wonder what the medical qualifications of that ISF member are. My guess is none.

  • http://feministing.com/members/scuzzb/ M Scott Walters

    So what’s the last remaining hold-out sport that’s still closed to women?

  • http://feministing.com/members/kelseyj/ Kelsey

    Great post, and I definitely agree, but I’m pretty sure you mean Lindsey Vonn, not Van (the story you linked to got it wrong, too).

    • http://feministing.com/members/sasinshort/ Sarah

      No, they’re right. Lindsey Vonn is a downhill skier, while Van is a champion ski jumper. Just very similar names.

      • http://feministing.com/members/kelseyj/ Kelsey

        Ah, my mistake! Thanks, Sarah.