Canadian Zoya Lynch joins jumper lawsuit



Canadian ski jumper Zoya Lynch on Wednesday joined the lawsuit aimed at forcing the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to allow women to jump in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
    The 17-year-old Lynch is the first active Canadian jumper to join the lawsuit. Retired jumper Marie-Pierre Morin, 26, was one of the first to join the suit.
    Lynch originally had been asked to join the lawsuit, but held off "not because I was opposed to it, but because I truly had faith that the Canadian government was going to help us out like they'd promised. Six months later, nothing had been done so joining was my last hope," she told Ski Racing. Lynch said that the decision to join the other nine plaintiffs—a group that includes top U.S. jumpers Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van—was a difficult decision but a necessary one because she believes gender discrimination should not be allowed.
    Last winter, Canadian ski jumpers filed a complaint to Canada’s Human Rights Commission, but dropped it when the federal government agreed to take their issue to the International Olympic Committee.


CANADIAN SKI JUMPER Zoya Lynch on Wednesday joined the lawsuit aimed at forcing the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to allow women to jump in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
    The 17-year-old Lynch is the first active Canadian jumper to join the lawsuit. Retired jumper Marie-Pierre Morin, 26, was one of the first to join the suit.
    Lynch originally had been asked to join the lawsuit, but held off "not because I was opposed to it, but because I truly had faith that the Canadian government was going to help us out like they'd promised. Six months later, nothing had been done so joining was my last hope," she told Ski Racing. Lynch said that the decision to join the other nine plaintiffs—a group that includes top U.S. jumpers Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van—was a difficult decision but a necessary one because she believes gender discrimination should not be allowed.
    Last winter, Canadian ski jumpers filed a complaint to Canada’s Human Rights Commission, but dropped it when the federal government agreed to take their issue to the International Olympic Committee. That aim at diplomacy failed, so in May a lawsuit was filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court against VANOC for discriminating against women’s ski jumpers under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The women are asking the court for an injunction requiring VANOC to include women's ski jumping in the Games, or, alternatively, to exclude men's ski jumping if it decides to also exclude women. The IOC has denied women jumpers an Olympic bid in 1998, 2002, 2006 and again in 2010, arguing that there isn’t enough “universal” support for ski jumping; the sport doesn’t have the depth; and they haven’t had any world championships.
    The jumpers argue that their sport has more international depth than skicross, bobsled and luge—which are sports included in the 2010 Games—and their first women’s world championship is scheduled for next spring in the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, ski jumping remains the only sport that will not have women competing alongside the men.
    Jerome says the judge’s decision on whether to hear the lawsuit will be decided sometime in October or November. Having Lynch as a plaintiff “doesn’t hurt,” Jerome said Thursday from Germany, where she is competing and currently ranked 10th in the world standings.
    In fact, Lynch agrees the timing is right, especially since there is a Canadian national election this month. "It will make a good election topic," she said.
   Meanwhile, Lynch recently moved from Calgary to Whistler to better focus on training, but she did not qualify to jump on the Continental Cup this fall in Europe.  

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