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IOC: winter women can’t take a jump

January 7, 2008

“I’ve grown up in Canada where I’ve been treated equal my whole life. ... I come here and I do this sport and I put my whole life into it and Canada’s hosting these Games in 2010 and I can’t be here because I’m a girl.”

Ouch. That’s a quote from Zoya Lynch, a 16-year-old Canadian ski jumper. She is talking about the decision of the International Olympic Committee to not allow women’s jumping in 2010.

She could have added that Canada has equality rights enshrined in its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. So why is it closing the door to women who want to play in the games? Well, it seems that, while equality is great in theory, it falls down the snowy slopes in practice. In this country it appears to be okay to bar women from sport during the 2010 Olympics.

So let’s just do a quick check-in with the first part of section 15. It reads:

Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Lynch is quoted as saying, “It just sucks, that’s all I can say,” and it would be understandable if she left it at that. But Lynch goes on, adding, “I have a lot of hope. We have a lot of people behind us and we're working so hard. Pretty soon everyone’s going to wake up and say hey these girls need to be here in 2010, 2014 or 2018 or whenever it is.”

Wakey, wakey!

So what can we do about it? For one thing, get in touch with the Vancouver Olympic Committee:

The Government of Canada touts itself as, “a key financial contributor to the 2010 Winter Games.”

On the welcome page for Canada 2010 – which features a picture of David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics – the text goes on to read:

As a major partner, one of the Government of Canada roles is to ensure the Games leave sustainable legacies for all Canadians.

One nice little sustainable legacy would be to see women ski jumpers treated with the same respect as the men seem to enjoy.

story source:

Women will continue to pursue being included, by TERRY BELL, The Vancouver Province | January 06, 2008

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