IOC bans black men from ski jumping

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 · 25 Comments »

Not really. But imagine if they did. Imagine if the International Olympic Committee had ruled repeatedly against allowing black men to compete in ski jumping. Imagine that they excused this discrimination on the grounds that black male ski jumpers were few and far between and frankly not very good — despite there actually being (in this imaginary scenario) a whole bunch of black male ski jumpers. A whole bunch of very, very good black male ski jumpers. In fact, imagine that the world record for a single jump was held by a black man. Yet imagine that IOC bigwigs were in the habit of remarking that black men weren’t really suited to the cold, weren’t really built for ski jumping, and so on.

Imagine all that, and that’s pretty much the situation we have with women’s ski jumping. Women are actually better at ski jumping than men. And the women’s level of international competition is on par with that of several other esoteric Olympic sports. There is simply no good reason* to exclude them. None.

So why isn’t there a big international outcry? Why aren’t nations boycotting the Games? Oh, you know.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is a talking donkey, happily watches the male-only ski jumping competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Women have been excluded from the event despite numerous petitions and a court challenge.


*From the WSJ article:

But why would the IOC bar women ski jumpers? Women’s Ski Jumping Vice President Vic Method has a theory: “This is a big macho event in Europe. If suddenly you’ve got these little size-four girls jumping comparable distances, the men don’t look so macho anymore.”

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25 Responses to “IOC bans black men from ski jumping”

  1. myiq2xu says:


  2. Sophie says:

    It’s for their own good, I’m sure.

  3. sam says:

    While we’re on the subject, after Nodar Kumaritashvili’s tragic death the men’s run was moved to begin from the women’s shorter start. Understandable.

    What I’m finding it hard to give the benefit of the doubt to is a legitimate reason for the women’s start to be moved down to the junior start. Why insist that the men’s and women’s scores be non-comparable?

    Friday’s fatal accident at the Whistler Sliding Centre forced the International Luge Federation (FIL) to lower the men’s start to the woman’s push-off point and Monday’s women’s race will now go from the junior start.

    “I’m not happy about the new start,” Geisenberger, one of a trio of Germans who will battle for gold on Monday and Tuesday, told reporters. It’s not a woman’s start, it’s a kinder (German for children’s) start.

    “The rest of the track is okay but it’s not as fast as from the proper start. It’s the same for all the athletes but I don’t like it. I felt very good but now because of the new start it’s not much fun.”

    Favourite Tatjana Huefner, who completed a German sweep of the women’s luge medals in Turin four years ago when she took bronze, was quickest in both women’s training runs on Friday but was also a little subdued.

    “It’s the rules that we go from the junior start and I’ll just have to make the best of the next two days,” she said after achieving a top speed of 82.3 mph, significantly down on the speeds recorded from the proper start.

  4. Violet Socks says:

    Good lord, Sam, I missed that. That is unfuckingbelievable.

    It’s so obviously just a gambit to preserve the illusion that men are better.

  5. Valhalla says:

    Anyone catch the video on this (on msnbc, no less).

    Just a year before, the International Ski Federation voted to host the women’s event (world championships). The president of the organization questioned whether it was healthy for women to jump at all. He told NPR’s North Country Public Radio, “It’s like jumping down from two meters on the ground about a thousand times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.”

    An unidentified woman involved in the controversy retorts: “Are uteruses going to fall out or something?”

    Dick Pound, a member of the IOC for more than 20 years, on the issue:

    We can understand that it’s disappointing, maybe infuriating, to some people that the women’s ski jumping event is not on the program. But I mean, that’s the way it is. There are lots of sports — squash is not on the program. Roller skating is not on the program. They’re disappointed as well. Again, somebody has to decide. Maybe someday they will, maybe as early as 2014, we’ll have to wait and see how many entries, how many athletes there are, and then we’ll decide. Then again, if in the meantime, you’re making all kinds of allegations about the IOC and how its discriminating on the basis of gender [which Canadian courts agreed with] and so on the IOC in a very predictable action might say “oh yeah…I remember them…they’re the ones that embarrassed us…and caused us a lot of trouble in Vancouver…[sniff]…maybe they should wait another 4 years, or whatever it may be.*

    * patronizing, trivializing and threatening in one paragraph. A patriarchal trifecta!

    After the IOC chose not to include women’s ski jump in the 2010 Olympics, the US Ski and Snowboard Association dropped the women’s ski jump team, saying they couldn’t afford a sport that wasn’t part of the Olympics.

  6. crzysue says:

    It reminds me of the same shit when women started flying planes and again later not letting women fly to the moon (ref: Promised the Moon). Putting a woman on the moon would ruin the image that it was a spectacular feat. It would make the men that did it seem commonplace. So predictable that history should repeat itself over and over again. We’ve come nowhere.

  7. octogalore says:

    Again, we’re asked to go to the back on the line and be patient.

    Nice call-out, Violet!

    This list is interesting and possibly informative:

  8. Violet Socks says:

    There are, like, 12 women on the whole IOC. And about half of them seem to be princesses.

  9. ErikZ says:

    The Olympics is a massive, for profit corporation that costs any nation that hosts it millions of dollars.

    Winners beat the records by fractions of a second.

    It’s incredibly boring, and anyone, anytime, can go out and prove they’re the best by doing the same things, while someone else times them or watches them.

  10. myiq2xu says:

    This reminds me of our former Speaker of the House:

    “If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don’t have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they’re relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn’t matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes”

    Newt wants to be POTUS some day too, but everybody worries about Sarah.

  11. bluelyon says:

    Add that to the noise that’s being made about women’s hockey. The whine is that since North America (US / Canada) dominates in women’s hockey, women’s hockey isn’t interesting and should be dropped from the Olympics. What I find interesting is that no one made these same arguments when the USA “Dream Team” was routing everyone else in Olympics basketball. Now why is that?

  12. Dongi says:

    God, I feel like I want to explode. This patriarchal bull shit of treating women athletes as inferior to their male counterparts has no place in our modern world. Are the egos of men so sensitive and delicate that they can’t stand comparison to performances of the distaff side? Time to turn out the protesters with appropriate signs; time to launch a headlong charge for the equal rights amendment, time to elevate human consciousness to acknowledge complete and total equality of the sexes.

    I am currently reading Mary Daly’s Beyond God the Father. I’d burn my bra–if I had one.

  13. chelate says:

    It’s a disgrace.

  14. m Andrea says:

    I have a hard time wrapping my head around this one, it’s the year 2010 for gawd’s sake. But at least we have concrete evidence that men still suck.

  15. votermom says:

    I coulda sworn I commented but maybe spammy ate it?

    Anyway, it wasn’t much of a comment, just an observation that I guess the SOP when it look sliek a woman will beat a man is to not allow he rto compete. Olympics, politics, …

    Btw, saw a comment from Wonk over at confluence that Scott Brown is challenging Obama to play hoops with him and his daughter Ayla. Suggested they make it a fund-raising game for Haiti.

  16. ea says:

    I may be remembering incorrectly, but I think at one time the Summer Olympics had shooting events that were not segregated by sex (women and men competed together). After a few Games with the women dominating, the shooting events became segregated. I think the only Summer events that are not segregated now are the horse jumping/dressage (¿sp?) events. In the Winter Games, is curling segregated?

  17. votermom says:

    Just watched women’s curling match last night (USA vs Japan) and they are definitely segregated.
    (Japan rocked, btw).

  18. sam says:

    ea, you are remembering correctly. I read about shooting segregation in one of the foundational books of my feminism, Mariah Burton Nelson’s magnificent The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football: Sexism and the American Culture of Sports

    Back in my pre-feminist days I didn’t grock team sports and the hypermasculine, nationalist loyalties they foster, so I went looking for a book to help me understand. Nelson’s book answered some of my questions and opened whole new avenues of thought on the social psychology of physicality.

  19. Violet Socks says:

    Zhang Shan, a Chinese woman, won the gold medal in skeet shooting (mixed-gender) at the 1992 Olympic Games. And immediately after that, women were barred from skeet shooting with men. They had to compete separately.

    Even better: the IOC didn’t get around to adding a women’s skeet shooting event until 2000. Which means that in 1996 Zhang Shan, the reigning gold medalist, was simply barred from the Games, unable to defend her title.

    It’s kind of like with the ski jumping: the record on the hill at Whistler Mountain, where the ski jumping is being held now, was set by a woman. But she isn’t allowed to compete to defend her record.

  20. Kathryn Cann says:

    In fact, imagine that the world record for a single jump was held by a black man. Yet imagine that IOC bigwigs were in the habit of remarking that black men weren’t really suited to the cold, weren’t really built for ski jumping, and so on.

    Imagine indeed.

    And, because it is women they get away with this outrage in plain sight.

    And that’s not all that is wrong with this winter olympics, with particular reference to women, as my co-editor Victoria has blogged about.

    Olympic Triple Screw

    Murdered and missing women

    Three Poles To Ski

  21. Adrienne in CA says:

    So the Olympic Cauldren is just a giant, flaming dick? Looks like it had erectile dysfunction this year.


  22. Nessum says:

    Re erectile dicks: Did anyone else also wonder why there is a picture of one in the Oval Office?

    (And yes, I do know what it is. Now.)

  23. The New Agenda » Blog Archive » Olympics Excluding Women Ski Jumpers says:

    [...] Hat tip. Violet Socks of the Reclusive Leftist on her piece. [...]

  24. Why I love the Winter Olympics | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] occasions for offense to my feminist sensibilities. They’re offensive enough, mind you: women banned from sports at which they excel, patriarchy on ice, the arbitrary insistence that all the women’s events [...]

  25. Ciccina says:

    I guess this is the deal with not letting women ski jump – lighter body equals greater distance. If women were allowed to jump – or, heaven forbid, if the sport was integrated – it would be just a matter of time before women dominated. Thus women are either barred, kept separate, or forced to jump on smaller hills – anything to obscure comparison between men and women and thus preserve the patriarchal illusion.