Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Perhaps the last ditch appeal

The group of female ski jumpers that sued the VANOC earlier this year because women are not allowed to participate in the sport at the Olympic level have filed an appeal of the decision that did not go their way. Despite acknowleding that the omission of the female jumpers from the Olympics is indeed lousy and wrong, the judge in the case ruled that there was nothing she nor VANOC could do about it because it was an IOC decision and the IOC is not subject to Canadian law, specifically the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and thus they could not be forced to add the sport.
But lawyers for the women are saying that they are not asking the court to mandate the sport be added, rather it is asking that VANOC, as Canadians, be forced to abide by Canadian law. It's not quite a splitting of the hairs situation but almost. After all the possible consequences of VANOC doing so would result in either the elimination of the men's contest or even possibly a cancellation of the games. (Can you imagine how pissed athletes would be if the games got cancelled because the IOC wouldn't let women jump off an icy hill? Just recall how angry some were when the US wouldn't go to Moscow all in the name of democracy.)
In other words, the jumpers are trying to force a situation which would be far worse than simply allowing them to participate. The language has just shifted a tad.
The appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel in Vancouver will hear the appeal in early November.

No comments: