At the Beijing Winter Olympics, five female ski-jumpers were disqualified before the finals over uniform violations.
According to a report by Reuters, wind resistance plays a big role in ski-jumping so the athletes’ uniform is checked to ensure that they don’t do anything unfair with their uniform and have an advantage in the game. The judges at the Winter Olympics deemed the jumpsuits worn by five female ski-jumpers to be too loose so they were disqualified. The athletes who were disqualified are Daniela Iraschk-Stolz of Austria, Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth from Norway, Katharina Althaus of Germany and Sara Takanashi of Japan. No male ski-jumper was disqualified because of the uniform.
The ousted athletes spoke to reporters and blamed The International Ski Federation. Katharina Althaus said, “We were looking forward to the second competition at the Olympics. [The International Ski Federation] destroyed that with this action – they destroyed women’s ski jumping.” She also said that this is how the federations destroy nations, development and entire sport.
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The ISF official Aga Baczkowska gave his statement to a Norwegian public broadcaster and said that the athletes are supposed to ensure that their jumpsuits comply with the rules. In another statement to USA Today, the federation said that the athletes who were disqualified were wearing jumpsuits that were not tested previously. They added that tests were held before the finals and they were found too big and offered “aerodynamic advantage to the athlete”
This is the first time that the mixed team ski-jumpers were participating at the Winter Olympics. At the event, every country was supposed to have a mixed team of two men and two women.
Silje Opseth who was disqualified told the media that she wore the same suit on the Saturday event and no official raised any objection. At the finals, Canada won bronze medal, Slovenia won gold medal and Russian Olympic Committee won silver medal.
Many social media people supported the disqualified athletes and called ISF unfair. The fact that women ski-jumpers were disqualified for wearing too big and too loose jumpsuits did not sit well with the netizens.
Feature Image credit: NBC News