Sunday, May 25, 2008

They cetainly learned persistence

Some within the world of sport (sociologist, psychologists, advocates, coaches, etc.) suggest that sport teaches valuable life lessons and skills like teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution and other characteristics that make athletes (and former athletes) potentially more successful in life (in a liberal, capitalist world). Some of the data and research may be debatable but one thing does not seem to be in question. If you are an elite female ski jumper in this world, you have learned persistence.
Good for them. A group of jumpers--and former jumpers--have filed a lawsuit against the VANOC--the organizing committee of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics citing gender discrimination.
And here we find out how little I know about the Canadian legal system. A lawsuit was filed a while ago by a parent of a Canadian jumper but it ended when VANOC agreed to advocate on behalf of the athletes with the IOC--who, of course, listened and nodded their heads attentively and then said, no. How this lawsuit differs (it appears the jumpers are citing the same equal rights laws) from a previous one I cannot say. The ski jumpers, most of whom are not Canadian unlike in the previous lawsuit, are suggesting that if they are not allowed to compete, the men should not either.
Others are suggesting that the women should at least be allowed to enter as a demonstration sport but most of the women find this suggestion a little condescending. And well they should.
So if you thought the fight over ski jumping was over--think again, and stay tuned.

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