“There is much more quality in the sport of women’s ski jumping compared with two years ago,” Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s sports director, said at a press conference at the Sport Accord convention of sports organizations in London.
The IOC executive board also added ski half pipe for men and women, biathlon mixed team relay and luge team relay events to the Sochi Winter Games.
Women’s ski jumping will be making its Olympic debut in Russia in three years’ time following a long campaign to have the sport included. In 2009, a group of female ski jumpers failed to persuade the Supreme Court of Canada, the country’s highest court, to consider their bid to overturn an Olympic policy barring them from participating in last year’s winter games in Vancouver.
Women ski jumpers from Canada, Norway, Germany, Slovenia and the U.S. sued the organizers of the Vancouver Olympics in May 2008, claiming their exclusion from the games was discriminatory and violated the Canadian constitution.
“We are elated,” Deedee Corradini, women’s ski jumping USA president, said in a press release today. “Sochi, Russia, can proudly proclaim that it will be hosting the first gender- equal Winter Games in Olympic history.”
The IOC will decide on the inclusion of five other events - - ski slopestyle for men and women, snowboard slopestyle for men and women and Alpine team parallel competition -- in the next few weeks.