FILE UNDER -- Nordic

Women's ski jumping approved for 2009 World Championships

Women’s ski jumping approved for 2009 World Championships{mosimage}VILAMOURA, Portugal – The International Ski Federation approved women’s ski jumping for the 2009 World Championships Friday, an important step before gaining Olympic approval.

In the plenary session on the final day of the 45th FIS Congress, delegates approved adding the women’s normal-hill event to the calendar for the World Nordic Ski Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic, with a team event to be part of the 2011 championships in Oslo, Norway.

The proposal by Canada and Norway to add women’s jumping was supported by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, which has sanctioned women’s events since the early 1990s and conducted national women’s jumping championships since the late 1990s. President and CEO Bill Marolt urged his colleagues on the powerful FIS Council, where he is a vice president, to endorse the proposal by Canada and Norway.

“There was a great team effort including our USSA delegates, Women’s Ski Jumping USA and an allied effort of key nations to bring women into the World Championships beginning in 2009,” Marolt said. “USSA has long supported the development of women’s ski jumping from the grassroots up to the Olympics. And while we still need to get Olympic approval, this is a major milestone by the FIS.”

“This is an historic day for women ski jumpers worldwide,” said Deedee Corradini, president of Women’s Ski Jumping USA. The athletes have earned this with their hard work over the past many years. It has been a team effort worldwide with the tremendous help and fantastic teamwork with the USSA team along with Canada, Norway and many others. We have succeeded!”

In the final vote of all delegates, the vote was nearly unanimous, with all major jumping nations supported the inclusion of women’s jumping for the ’09 championships. Now, FIS officials will work with Liberec organizers to finalize and confirm women’s jumping — and the addition of the nordic combined mass-start event, which also was approved — in the 2009 worlds.

Once that is completed, the next step is for formal acceptance as a sport by the 2010 Vancouver Olympics organizers before it heads to the IOC for approval at its July 2007 meeting in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

A dozen nations — more than double just a few years ago — have women’s ski jumping programs. The United States is second to Germany in terms of women competing at the highest level of FIS; three American women are raked in the top 10 worldwide.


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