Feb 8, 2022 - Sports

5 women ski jumpers disqualified from Olympics for jumpsuit violations

Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre
Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Five women were disqualified from the mixed team ski jump final in Beijing because their jumpsuits were in violation of the rules, according to the International Ski Federation.

Why it matters: Ski jumping jumpsuits have been controversial because the rules governing what can and cannot be worn are hyper-specific and often include specifications many athletes feel are sexist.

  • The suits were reportedly too large, potentially giving them an unfair advantage, per NPR.
  • The disqualified skiers are Sara Takanashi of Japan, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria, Katharina Althaus of Germany, and Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth of Norway.

The big picture: The disqualified athletes were from some of the top ski-jumping teams in the world.

  • Germany, Norway and Austria had won gold, silver and bronze at the 2021 World Championships, respectively, but ultimately finished ninth, eighth and fifth due to the disqualifications.

Driving the news: Some of the athletes said they competed in the same jumpsuits for the individual normal hill competition earlier, but were only disqualified for this event, according to NPR.

  • Althaus, who had won a silver in the individual normal hill event on Saturday, wore the same suit for both events, according to Germany's national team coach Stefan Horngacher.

What they're saying: "That is how you destroy nations, development and the entire sport," Althaus said, according to Reuters.

  • "For me it is a puppet theatre. The entire season the suits have been an issue. I am unbelievably angry and I don't understand it," Horngacher said, according to Reuters.
  • "I am just shocked. I do not understand anything about what happened today," Opseth said.
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