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Women's Olympic Ski Jumping

The Road to the Olympics for Women's Ski Jumping

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Sarah Hendrickson during the Women's Ski Jumping at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

Sarah Hendrickson during the Women's Ski Jumping HS106 at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Stringer/Getty Images Sport
Sarah Hendrickson

2013 Women's Ski Jumping World Champion Sarah Hendrickson

Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Stringer/Getty Images Sport

After a challenging battle, Women's Ski Jumping will be on the Olympic roster of sports. Women's Ski Jumping will premier as an Olympic sport at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The women will compete in one event, the normal hill competition. Men compete in three events: normal hill, large hill, and team large hill.

In normal hill competition, the size of each hill is related to an arbitrary K-point (or spot) on the hill. A 90 meter normal hill jumping competition has a K point of 90 meters. The event is scored based on distance and style.

History of Women's Olympic Ski Jumping

Women’s Ski Jumping World championships have been held since 2009 and this has been the highest level of competition for women’s ski jumping, to date. In 2005, President of the International Ski Federation Gian Franco Kasper concluded that Ski Jumping "Seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view." At that time, the proposal for an Olympic Women's Ski Jumping event was rejected, due to the low number of athletes as well as too few countries interested in participating in the sport. The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee asserted that Women's Ski Jumping really had not taken off internationally, which strengthened their decision.

On May 26, 2006, the International Ski Federation decided to allow women to ski jump at the 2009 Nordic World Ski Championships in the Czech Republic. Following that decision, they submitted a proposal to the International Olympic Committee to allow women to compete in Ski Jumping in Vancouver at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In 2009, a group of 15 female ski jumpers filed suit against the Vancouver Organizing Committee, claiming that having a Men's Ski Jumping event without a women's complement in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 would be in direct violation of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The suit was presented on April 24th, 2009 and the judged once again ruled against the female jumpers. He ruled that although they were discriminated against, the issue is an International Olympic Committee responsibility which is not governed by the charter.

The judge also proclaimed that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to the Vancouver Organizing Committee. An appeal was also denied unanimously by three British Columbian judges on November 13, 2009.

Virgini Madsen, an American actress and documentary film producer, chronicled the Canadian team's efforts in the 2009 film Fighting Gravity. Ready to Fly, a documentary by author and filmmaker Bill Kerig (Edge of Never), chronicles the story of "2009 World Champion Lindsey Van and the Women’s Ski Jumping USA team as they fight to make their Olympic dreams come true."

Women's Ski Jumping at the Sochi Olympics

After much controversy, on April 6th, 2011, the International Olympic Committee officially accepted Women's Ski Jumping into the Olympic program to begin in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

USA Women's Ski Jumping

The US Women's Ski Jumping Team won the Nations Cup in 2012 and 2013. Three women ski jumpers were ranked in the top 10 overall for 203, led by 2013 World Champion, Sarah Hendrickson. The 2013 Women's Ski Jumping Team includes:

Team A (2014 Sochi Women's Ski Jumping Team)

  • Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT
  • Jessica Jerome, Park City, UT
  • Lindsey Van, Park City, UT

Team C

  • Abby Hughes, Park City, UT
  • Alissa Johnson, Park City, UT
  • Nina Lussi, Lake Placid, NY (invitee)

Development Team

  • Emilee Anderson, Eau Claire, WI
  • Elyse Hoffmann, Madison, WI
  • Elizabeth Wallace, Woodbury, MN

USA Women's Ski Jumping Team: Website | Athletes

Related Articles: What is Ski Jumping?

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