Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gender Equity and the IOC

I'm still in shock over the IOC's blatant snub of Women's Ski Jumping. What were they thinking?????

There appears to be no clear logic to their decision. "Not enough countries and athletes?" here are 109 athletes from 14 countries actively competing in women's ski jumping at this time. In comparison, when a slot was given for the skeleton event, there were only 15 athletes from 9 countries involved. Bobsled had 30 athletes from a dozen countries. SkiCross, which got the nod this month, reports 35 athletes from 15 countries. What's wrong with this picture?

Another bizarre IOC statement; "This is a new discipline which requires extensive review and committee approvals." Wrong again. Ski jumping is not new. It has been an Olympic sport since 1924... but only for men.

Remind me again which century we are living in?

And what about the 1991 amendment ot the Olympic Charter that mandates that all events added to an Olympic Program must provide competition for men and women? Gee, if your sport was added prior to 1991, you're just out of luck? We don't have to provide gender equity?

This was a supremely stupid move on the part of the IOC.

Their legitimacy has already been called into question after past ethical missteps of some IOC members. Do they really want to wave the old-boy-network flag in our faces again? Our patience is wearing thin.

Some Canadians are questioning how their government can fund construction of a multi-million dollar facility that bans women. It flies in the face of the rights enshrined in the charter as well as Canada's federal and provincial Human Rights Acts.

Sponsors of the Olympics are glancing around nervously. Can they really sponsor an event that does not uphold gender equity in all its events?

Alyssa Johnson, one of the athletes directly affected by this, put it well; "If they get away with this, it diminishes the whole idea about the Olympic Games and fairness and equality."