Female ski jumpers lose final bid to compete


OTTAWA (AP) — Female ski jumpers have lost their final bid to compete at the Vancouver Olympics.

The Supreme Court of Canada announced on Tuesday that it will not hear an appeal by the ski jumpers. As is customary, the court gave no reasons for its decision.

The women contend that Vancouver organizers are breaking Canada’s Charter of Rights by hosting only men’s ski jumping. They were seeking leave to appeal two lower-court rulings that said the charter cannot dictate which sports are included in the Winter Games.

The lower courts ruled that the charter does not apply to the International Olympic Committee, which decides what sports are included in the games.

The women first launched a lawsuit against local organizers in May 2008, 18 months after the IOC decided to exclude women’s ski jumping.

They dropped a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission when the federal government agreed to lobby the IOC. When that failed, they pursued a court case.

The women wanted the courts to force Vancouver organizers to either add a women’s event or cancel the men’s. Organizers said they could do neither.

The IOC voted not to include women’s ski jumping at the 2010 Winter Olympics because the sport didn’t meet the necessary criteria for inclusion. The IOC requires requirement that a sport must have contested at least two world championships before it can become an Olympic event. There are also rules dictating how far in advance of an Olympics a sport can be added to the program.

The women countered they have since held enough international events to qualify for consideration as an Olympic sport and said it wouldn’t be difficult for organizers to accommodate one additional event.