Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:17 AM

PyeongChang Olympics: Day 9 – Women Ski Jumpers Still fighting for Equal Rights

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Yesterday was the final day of competition in this sport. But my only interest stems from the equal rights campaign the IOC forced women ski jumpers to wage just to compete.

The IOC argued ski jumping was simply too dangerous. The female jumpers repeatedly found themselves responding to the idea that jumping would injure their ovaries – a claim the former U.S. women’s coach, Larry Stone, scoffs at.

(CBS News, February 9, 2014)

This, despite women demonstrating – by their participation in everything from the Marathon to Weightlifting – that they have the mental strength and physical toughness to compete in any Olympic sport. They finally overcame and competed at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

That women are finally participating in Ski Jumping 90 years after the men is thanks in large part to women responding to ignorant and chauvinistic ideas about their vulnerabilities with cogent and unassailable declarations. I commented on this  dynamic in “Sochi Olympics: Day 4,” February 11, 2014.


My baby-making organs are on the inside. Men have an organ on the outside. So if it’s not safe for me jumping down, and my uterus is going to fall out, what about the organ on the outside of the body?

This was no less a person than pioneer jumper Lindsey Van sounding off on the February 13, 2013 edition of Rock Center on NBC. It’s probably the bane of her competitive life that her name is so similar to that of another more famous Lindsey.

But Van’s name will go down in the annals of history along with those of women like Patsy Mink and Edith Starrett Green. Recall that Mink and Green fought for the passage of Title IX, which guaranteed girls and women in the United States the same opportunities as boys and men in any field of education — particularly in high school and college sports.


Women ski jumpers have come a long way, baby. But they still have a long way to go. After all, they got scant media coverage at these Games and had opportunities to compete for medals in only one event. Men ski jumpers had opportunities in three.

The women competed a week ago today.

Women’s Normal Hill Individual

  • Maren Lundby of Norway won gold; Katharina Althaus of Germany, silver; Sara Takanashi of Japan, bronze

The men compete in their final event later today, but I couldn’t care less.

MEDAL COUNT: Norway 26; Germany 18; Canada 16

Related commentaries:
Day 1-8
Sochi Day 4

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