Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boxing versus ski jumping

You're thinking: "where can she possibly be going with this? These sports have next to nothing in common."
True. But both are seeking inclusion in the Olympic Games--the female athletes of the sports because, of course, the men are already in.
Haven't heard much about ski jumping since the trial in April in Canada. But the inclusion of women's boxing in the 2012 London Games has been getting some press of late. Because apparently this bid for inclusion has some actual support by IOC members.
It also has the strong support of boxing's governing body, the International Boxing Association (AIBA), which has put forth a proposal for 40 female boxers in the 2012 games in 5 weight divisions. (There would be 246 men in 10 divisions.)
It would be an interesting project to compare the efforts of women's ski jumping with women's boxing. Like the line ski jumpers are getting now from the IOC, women's boxing was told in 2005 that their sport was just not ready for inclusion.
But both sports get that bogus opposition about injury, too. Ski jumping is too jarring for women's frames. Boxing is too violent and injury-prone for women.
You could also examine the stereotypes around the female athletes in the respective sports and how that might affect their bids. There are plenty of stereotypes around female boxers. Are there stereotypes of female jumpers? Not sure. But, like I said, a good project.
Neither the jumpers nor the boxers have been assured a place in the Olympics but it seems more likely that the latter will see Olympic entry first. (I am happy to be wrong about this, however.)

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