Women ski jumpers to appeal court decision to keep them out of Games

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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VANCOUVER - A group of women ski jumpers are appealing a court decision that prevents them from competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Ross Clark, the lawyer representing the jumpers, says the appeal will be based on the argument the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee must abide by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"It cannot host events on Canadian soil that implement discrimination," Clark said in a press release.
A B.C. Supreme Court Justice ruled last week the International Olympic Committee is discriminating against women ski jumpers by keeping them out of the Games. But the judge said the court does not have the power to order the sport be included on the program when the Olympics begin in February.
The group of 15 former and current female ski jumpers went to court in April to argue their exclusion from the Vancouver Games violated the Charter.
The women wanted a court declaration that the Vancouver organizing committee, known as VANOC, must either hold women's ski jumping in 2010 or cancel all ski jumping events.
In her decision Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon expressed sympathy for the women but said the IOC, not VANOC, decides which sports will be included at the Games. The international committee is not governed by the Charter, nor does the organization fall under her court's jurisdiction, Fenlon said.
The decision did say VANOC does fall under the Charter.
The IOC has said its decision to not to allow women ski jumping at the Games was based on "technical issues, without regard to gender."
Katie Willis, one of the women who brought the suit, said she's thrilled the appeal will go ahead.
"We were so disheartened by last week's decision, but we're competitors," Willis said. "We won't give up."

Organizations: Charter, International Olympic Committee, Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee Rights B.C. Supreme Court Justice

Geographic location: VANCOUVER

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