Female ski jumpers who want their event included in the 2010 Olympics will appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, hoping a decision can be made before the Vancouver Games in February.
Deedee Corradini, a spokeswoman for the women, said they hope Canada’s top court will decide whether to hear the case within the next two weeks and hand down a decision by mid-January.
She said they decided to appeal because they feel the issue of discrimination is bigger than one event at the Games.
The women claim Vancouver’s Olympic organizing committee, known as VANOC, is violating their rights by staging ski jumping events for men but not women.
Last month, female ski jumpers from Canada and the U.S. lost their case in a unanimous decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal.
The Appeal Court judges stood by the decision of the B.C. Supreme Court in July. In that ruling, Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon said that while it was discriminatory to exclude the women’s event, VANOC could not be held responsible.
The skiers had argued that VANOC should have been compelled to stage a women’s ski jump event — even though it was not sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) — because VANOC is subject to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with its guarantees of gender equality.
The IOC voted in 2006 not to include women’s ski jumping at the Games, saying the sport had not met the required technical criteria.