Ski jumping is one of my favorite Olympic events but I wondered why only men competed in it. Then I stumbled across this quote from Gian-Franco Kasper, head of the International Ski Federation from 2005:

Ski jumping is just too dangerous for women. Don’t forget, [the landing] it’s like jumping down from, let’s say, about two meters to the ground about a thousand times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.

It reminded me of quotes from the 1800’s about how women, for their own good, should not be allowed to go to college because they supposedly lacked the physical constitution necessary to succeed.

In an article titled “Why women can’t ski jump in the Winter Olympics,” Anita DeFrantz, chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sports Commission, refers to it as “a textbook case of discrimination.”

Sports Illustrated columnist Ann Killion has a related story up featuring Jessica Jerome who is the reigning national champion in ski jumping: As new sports are added, women ski jumpers left out in cold by IOC.

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