IOC deserves benefit of the doubt on this one
The news this morning that Canada’s Supreme Court won’t hear the last-gasp appeal to include women’s ski jumping in the Vancouver Olympics comes as no real surprise. It also makes eminent sense. The instant women’s ski jumping is ready to be included, it will be there.
I am no wild fan of the International Olympipc Committee and never really have been. That said, the one thing for which the IOC deserves credit, beginning with the latter reign of His Excellency Juan Antonio Samaranch and continuing through the current regime of Jacques Rogge, is the inclusion of women’s sports in the Games.
The IOC has bent over backward to bump up the number of women’s sports in the Olympics, obviously a good thing. So the IOC surely deserves the benefit of the doubt on this one; women’s ski jumping went through the process and was deemed to be not grown-up enough for inclusion. The athletes are dedicated and hard-working, of course. But that isn't the issue. If the IOC, which sorely wants more women’s sports, says it isn’t ready yet, in terms of depth of talent pool or whatever, then that would seem to be the case. Why would they go the other way?
The IOC surely would have taken a mulligan on women’s hockey; the game is dynamic and growing in Canada and the U.S., but other than one major upset of the U.S. at Turin, it would be one of the least competitive sports on the Olympic calendar. There are the two powerhouses and then everybody else. No doubt that competitive imbalance is making the IOC a little more cautious about jumping too soon.
When women’s ski jumping is grown up enough, it will be included. Perhaps for Socchi in 2014. Things take time, although in our modern society everyone seems to want what they want the instant they want it. There’s a process and ski jumping needs to go through it to the IOC’s satisfaction. The Supreme Court quite properly had no business entering the process after the lower courts ruled the way they did.