Vancouver City Council urges inclusion of women ski jumpers

Vancouver City Councilors have passed a motion calling for a reversal of the decision by the IOC not to offer a women’s ski jump competition at next year’s Winter Olympics, which will be held in the city.

The motion was put forward by Councilor Ellen Woodsworth of the Coalition for Progressive Electors and was unanimously supported by other council members. The city council will now send a letter to the International Olympic Committee urging them institution to reverse its decision.

Next year’s Winter Olympics will feature a ski jump competition for men, but not for women. The IOC argues that the depth of competition is not strong enough in the women’s event to justify Olympic status, a charge that women jumpers deny.

A challenge was made to the decision at the British Columbia Supreme Court last week on the grounds of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, on the basis that it was illegal for VANOC, the organiser of next year’s Winter Olympics, to use public funds for an event that discriminated on grounds of gender. The case was dismissed on the grounds that as the IOC is based in Switzerland, it is not subject to the Charter.

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