Women ski jumpers lose final Canadian court bid

Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:13am EST
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A coalition of female ski jumpers vowed not to give up their bid to be included in the Olympics, despite a refusal by Canada's highest court on Tuesday to hear their case.

The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of lower court rulings that Canada did not have the legal power to force the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold both men's and women's ski jumping events in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

"Although we are hugely disappointed by the Supreme Court's refusal to hear us this time, we won't give up. This is about human rights and discrimination," said Deedee Corradini, president of Women's Ski Jumping USA.

"It's a wrong that must be righted," Corradini said.

Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since 1924, but is one of the few events in either the Winter or Summer Games that does not have competitions for both men and women. All new sports allowed into the Games must be gender equal.

The IOC has refused to sanction women's ski jumping in the Games, arguing that not enough women are competing in the sport worldwide for it to qualify as an Olympic event.

The Supreme Court of Canada traditionally does not give reasons for refusing to hear appeals and did not in this case.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)