Archive for the Lindsey Van Category

Worlds in Oslo Norway Feb 25th

Posted in Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping, WSJUSA on February 13, 2011 by Vanessa Pierce

I am about to head out the door to begin my journey to Norway in a few minutes. I am headed there for World Championships. The Nordic Worlds are being held in Norway, the birth place of these sports. It is expected to be a great atmosphere with lots of people watching kinda like the Super Bowl is here.
Over the last few weeks I have been training here in Park City. I have had about 40 jumps on the K120 here with great training weather. I have also been in the gym, doing lost of cross country skiing, and some yoga. I feel confident in my jumping, and I am healthy! I am very excited to go to Norway for this competition. I think the competition will be at very high level. Austria’s Daniela Iraschko, Coline Mattel, are jumping very well so it should be a tight competition. My team consists of Jessica Jerome, Sarah Hendrickson, Abby Hughes, Alissa Johnson, and myself. You can watch the comp on, if you click on the women’s jumping link.
When I get back from Worlds I will be on my way to San Francisco to donate bone marrow. This is very exciting for me, and of course a bit scary. I was identified as a match for someone with Leukemia back in the fall, and after going through multiple test, I will be donating March 14th and 15th at UCSF. I hope I can help save someone’s life. You can sign up at The next few weeks should be exciting with Worlds, and then donating bone marrow. Thanks for the support. I will be updating while I am in Norway.
Lindsey Van


Olympic time—not for me but for my friends!

Posted in Alta, ESPN, Lindsey Van, MSNBC, Olympics, Secret, Ski Jumping on February 12, 2010 by Vanessa Pierce

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are underway. I’m sad I can’t be there, but I will be watching to support my friends. Nonetheless, I’m still moving along. Secret has started a new campaign called “Let Her Jump,” which is very positive (check it out at Also, I’m now an Ambassador for Cross Sportswear. I’m really excited to put that clothing to use at the Snowbird Nationals (my first freeskiing comp this March).

Yes, I won’t be competing at the Olympics, and there is plenty of media talking about that. So here are some videos from MSNBC’s freelancer Anna Bloom and Secret. Also, watch ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Feb. 14 to see a feature on me. The filmers came a month ago and shot me jumping at the Utah Olympic Park, freeskiing at Alta, working as a PT aide at Alpine Sports Medicine, and hanging out. They are coming back tonight to film me watching the Opening Ceremonies :-( but I will be with dear friends and cheering on all of my friends who I know will do awesome this fortnight!

To view the MSNBC documentary, CLICK here.


Posted in lawsuit, Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping on July 11, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce

102-med-m1247270629Vancouver, BC (July 10, 2009) — The culmination of the women’s ski jumping controversy covered in Issue 2.4 delivered a dissapointing result for the athletes as the BC Supreme Court rejected a bid today to allow women’s ski jumping in the 2010 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.

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.”

So, while it was a moral victory, ultimately, the IOC has its way for 2010. We can only hope things will change for Russia 2014.

Source: Globe and Mail

We lost

Posted in lawsuit, Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping on July 10, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce

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.” …..


Supreme Court hearing in B.C. is intense

Posted in lawsuit, Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping on April 23, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce

img_24531This week I am in Vancouver Canada for a Supreme Court case with my teammate Jessica Jerome, former teammate and team director Karla Keck, and other Canadian ski jumpers.  We are among 15 plaintiffs that filled a suit last May against VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) to try and get women’s ski jumping to the Olympic program for the games in Vancouver in 2010.  The other plaintiffs represent Norway, Germany, Austria, and Sloenija.

Today was day three of a five day hearing.  The first two days were given to the plaintiffs to argue.  Our lawyers, Ross Clark, and Jeff Horswill, have worked ard on this case over the last year.  They spent the time given explaining other court precedence-using past court decisions to prove that VANOC us a “government entity” and thus had to follow the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Clark spent mcuh of the second day showing how VANOC is those government decisions, and should be held to the Canadian Charter.  I thought there was an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows VANOC is a government entity.  It was very interesting, and intense at times.  I was sittting on the edge of my seat at points that nailed VANOC.  I felt the first two days went very well in our favor, and our arguments are very strong.

img_2470Today the defense had their chance to state their arguments.  Lawyers spent much of the day proving that VANOC was not controlled by the B.C. Provincial government, but rather IOC, which has “control” over the organizing committee’s decision making, and they only say what events are added to the Olympic program.  He went through many documents that showed VANOC wanted to include the women’s ski jumping, but only if the IOC had added the event to the program.  His whole claim is that because VANOC is not a governemnt entity, it is not held to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We have two more days left of the hearing, and Thursday s another day for VANOC.  Friday is split between the two sides for final arguments.  We have a woman judge that seems to be fair-minded, and she will be making her decision sometime in the next few months.  It seems like a while for a decison, but she has s many documents to review, so I can understand why she would need the time.

I am confident in our lawyers, and the arguments they have presented.  I am eager for this to be over and hear her final decison.  Other than sitting in court, we have been doing lots and lots of media.  The coverage is great locally and internationally, and the word is being spread.  Check out some of the links postef for some more coverage.  Thanks for all the support, I hope the judge rules in our favor!!!

No fly in Vikersund!

Posted in Lindsey Van, Ski Flying, Ski Jumping on March 16, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce
vikersund-09-206So, yesterday we were suppose to go Sky Flying, the culmination of our sport, and the biggest honor as a ski jumper. We arrived at the hill psyched to be there, and you couldn’t have punched the grins off our faces. We received our start numbers, and it became real that we were going to fly. The chance of a life time right? Well it would be nice if it were that easy, but its never that easy as a woman in this sport.
We made it to the top of the hill in our suits with our start numbers, and we even brought our skis. It didn’t matter if I had gone naked because the chance was just a joke. The women had start numbers 12, 13, 18, 21, and 22. The first 11 jumpers went, and jumped quite far in the conditions. 220.5m, the longest jump in Norway ever, but it was by a test jumper. Apparently in our old fashioned sport it’s not cool that World Cup jumpers are the only ones reserved for these sort of jumps. The jury was unhappy that he jumped this far. I thought the idea of test jumpers was to test the new hill and to see how far the new hill allowed for jumpers to fly. This jury had a different idea, they just wanted people to be gentle with the hill, and not push it’s limits. It’s dangerous right? No, all the testers were here to fly as well, and see how far they could push themselves, and test the hill.
The training was stopped after these far jump. The jury had a long meeting, or at least a long discussion on what their answer would be for stopping. The conditions were perfect, everybody was safe, the hill was perfect, and there were still twenty test jumpers at the top of the hill. We waited anxiously for a decision, but the only answer we initially got was that training was over for the day and there would be no more jumps. We walked down grumbling at what we thought had happened. Later we found out the reasoning. This is backwards land, and decisions are made as if we were still stuck in the 1950’s. There were long jumps, and they knew the women were coming. The conditions were perfect so they suspected we would jump far as well. The head of the Ski Jumping Committee in FIS Walter Hofer had said he didn’t want any more jumps over 200m, and that the hill was not for ladies. His reasoning for these answers was that the World Cup jumpers would feel bad, and the competition wouldn’t be as interesting if the test jumpers, and the women were able to achieve these far distances. I feel that he made this decision, because he did not the women to jump far. If we would have jumped far, it would make the superstars look not so bright compared to a woman. How depressing for our sport that is trying to move forward is getting pushed back by a man who knows we are capable of those distances. Frustrating to the max. We take one step forward and two back. He ruined a great once in a life time experience for us. He embarrassed us and took everything we strive towards as Ski Jumping athletes right under our feet. We can do little at this point except grumble to the media, and to those who do support the women trying to have this great experience.

vikersund-09-1981All of the coaches and some officials gathered together to make a plan. They said that if the women were not able to be used as test jumpers, their boys were not going to be used either. A protest in a way that would make FIS squirm . If they had no test jumpers for their World Cup, they wouldn’t be able to have it. The coaches and officials said the women had qualified outright for these positions, and we were going to be used as any normal test jumper. Of course FIS has their own special plan for us with that answer. They said all could jump the next day, even the ones without the penis. Wow, what a concept huh? I knew exactly what they were going to do here. FIS would let us jump, but from such low speed you can’t even break the knoll. They made it so nobody could jump far, so their stars could shine the next day.

On Friday when we got to the hill again and got our bibs people were excited, but in a different way this time. We knew that FIS had its own plans for us. I was still excited to fly, since I hadn’t been in 5 years. When we got to the top I wasn’t surprised to see where the gate was placed. The speed was set so low that we had little or no chance to jump far. Ya, you can jump, but you will look dumb and embarrass yourself. How typical of FIS, just what they wanted. I jumped, and I jumped really short. Short enough that I didn’t even get to feel the hill. I had wished big doors opened and swallowed me as I came into land to save myself some embarrassment. This day I was able to do this twice in, which left such a bitter taste in my mouth about the state of women’s Ski Jumping. I feel my place, and I feel unwanted from FIS. Anettte Sagen had a really good jump and made it on the hill a bit, to 177m, so at least that showed we can jump far, but had it been the same conditions as the day before. Many of the women we capable of jumping over 200m. Wouldn’t want that FIS, women can jump over 200 too. After these two jumps I sat at the bottom for a while thinking about what more could have been done on my end, and I can’t do anything. If I get fired up at FIS, I will just see other repercussions later in a another situation. As an athlete you can only do so much before it comes back around to bite you in the ass. FIS has us caged in. If we didn’t jump then we look scared, and if we do jump we just look ridiculous. Who wins here? We won a little by getting off the hill when they said no, but we were not able to show them what we can do. FIS won more here, because they can show that we jumped short, and made us feel like idiots.

vikersund-09-187Overall the women are angry and stuck. Still stuck, and angry as usual. Every chance they give us they can take it away immediately, and have it swing in their favor. It is sad for our sport that needs to move forward. The governing body that is suppose to support this moving forward is stepping on our toes, and is giving us no wiggle room. It is all done to how they have planned it, and we are stuck in the middle. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t. It is very tiresome dealing with this. I am at the front of the sport pushing for these opportunities, and trying to make things happen. It is going so maddening slow. I feel the level of the women is high enough for better opportunities, but we cannot show them. Trying to push this sport is draining. We push so hard for nothing. We have to fight so hard for every little chance we have, and there are very few.

What can we do at this point? Hmm? That is the question. I suppose we have to keep going at a snails pace, and keep fighting, or nobody will. That is what they want for us. To all give up and move on, but that’s not going to happen. People will be fighting back harder than ever, and they better watch out, because we are not giving up.