At long last, the IOC has approved women’s ski jumping for the Olympic Games.
The longer I covered the fight to get the event in the Games, the more absurd the opposition seemed. The Olympics are supposed to be committed to gender equity. If men compete in the Games and women compete in other competitions, the women also should compete in the Games.
The IOC and others raised faulty comparisons to events that weren’t in the Games, failing to notice that these were separate sports. Agree or disagree with the inclusion of golf or exclusion of karate, but the IOC is within its rights to choose its sports. To let one gender compete when the other is perfectly capable of competing as well is — and always was — sheer nonsense.
In other gender equity news, the IOC approved biathlon’s mixed relay, which should be a terrific event. The other decisions on “team events” seem random — why luge and figure skating, but not Alpine skiing?
Most fans might wish slopestyle, for both snowboarders and freestyle skiers, had made the cut ahead of ski halfpipe. But the IOC has some logic behind that decision. Sochi is already building a halfpipe for snowboarding competition. Slopestyle would require a new course.
Not the case for women’s ski jumping. The facility will be there. The excuses are not. Better late than never.