We lost

The court decision came today, and we lost. It’s sad, and I’m disappointed and still don’t understand. I’m putting excerpts of articles below. For entire story, click on the publication’s bold print. Also, Judge Fenlon’s decision can be downloaded from The Globe and Mail excerpt.


The B.C. Supreme Court has rejected a high-profile bid by women ski jumpers to be included in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Judge Lauri Ann Fenlon ruled against an elite, international group of 15 women ski jumpers who had sued VANOC over their exclusion from Olympic ski jumping at the 2010 Games. They had asked for a declaration that the Games must either include women’s ski jumping or have no ski jumping competitions at all.

However, in a moral victory for the women plaintiffs, Judge Fenlon found that their exclusion from the Winter Olympics is discriminatory. She noted that many of them have trained with and competed against men who will be Olympians next year.

“The plaintiffs will be denied this opportunity for no reason other than their sex,” Judge Fenlon wrote.

Read the decision (PDF)

But she concluded that VANOC was not in breach of the Charter because the decision to keep their event from the Olympics was made by the International Olympic Committee, and only the IOC has the power to include the women at the Games. The IOC, she pointed out, is not bound by Canada’s Charter.

“There will be little solace to the plaintiffs in my finding that they have been discriminated against [but] there is no remedy available to them in this Court,” she concluded in her 42-page decision released today.

“This is the outcome I must reach because the discrimination that the plaintiffs are experiencing is the result of the actions of a non-party (the IOC) which is neither subjected to the jurisdiction of this Court, nor governed by the Charter.”

There are three ski jumping events for men on the Games’ schedule, and none for women. Women ski jumpers argued this was a breach of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. …..



Park City’s Lindsey Van won’t be ski jumping at the upcoming Vancouver Olympics, and neither will any other female athletes.

The reigning inaugural world champion is among 15 plaintiffs who lost their lawsuit against the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee on Friday, when Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the decision to exclude their sport is not illegal under Canadian law — even though it was discriminatory.

“In my mind, that’s pretty crazy,” Van said.

In a high-profile case that threatened to force historic changes just months before the Vancouver Games, the women had argued that being excluded from the Olympics violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which prohibits gender discrimination in government services.

But in a 42-page ruling, Fenlon said that only the International Olympic Committee – not the local organizing committee – controls which sports are allowed in the Olympics, and the IOC is not bound by Canadian law.

“VANOC did not make the decision to exclude women’s ski jumping from the 2010 Games,” Fenlon wrote. “VANOC did not support that decision. VANOC does not have the power to remedy it.” ……



Female ski jumpers won’t be competing in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Supreme Court of B.C. has ruled.

American Lindsey Van is one of a group of female ski jumpers frustrated the IOC will not include their sport in the 2010 Winter Games. (CBC)In a ruling issued Friday, Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon expressed sympathy for the women, but said the court doesn’t have the authority to force the International Olympic Committee to include the sport in the 2010 Games.

The group of 15 former and current female ski jumpers went to court in April to argue their exclusion from the Vancouver Games violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

They wanted a court declaration that the organizing committee of the Vancouver Olympics, known as VANOC, must either hold women’s ski jumping in 2010 or cancel all ski jumping events.

VANOC argued that the IOC decides which sports are allowed in the Games and that the Charter doesn’t apply to it.

For its part, the IOC had insisted that its decision to keep women’s ski jumping out of the Vancouver Games was based on technical merit, not discrimination.

“The IOC would like to stress again the decision not to include women’s ski jumping has been taken purely on technical merit,” Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s media relations manager, said in an email to The Canadian Press in November 2008. “Any reference to the fact that this is a matter about gender equality is totally inappropriate and misleading.” …..



4 Responses to “We lost”

  1. Don’t give up!!!! I’m in this with you guys to the end!

  2. Dave Rasmussen Says:

    Rode the chairlift with your father today at Powder Mtn, heard about your story and was dumbfounded. Why did I not know you ladies were not in the olympics? How lame! I agree with your father, the oddities of these games are karmic!

  3. I am unable to fully understand – beyond a reasonable doubt – the long-standing sexist attitude of IOC, and their short-brained decision to exclude 15 women ski jumpers at the 2010 Games. Does anyone here have any comments that may lighten my contemplation? Canadian courts customarily appear to shy away from dealing with discrimination and avoid applying a point of law that would allow these women to participate in the Olympic competition.

  4. So happy to read such a interesting blog that does not resort to lame antics to get the point across. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

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