Archive for the lawsuit Category

Denied

Posted in lawsuit, Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping on July 11, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce

102-med-m1247270629Vancouver, BC (July 10, 2009) — The culmination of the women’s ski jumping controversy covered in Issue 2.4 delivered a dissapointing result for the athletes as the BC Supreme Court rejected a bid today to allow women’s ski jumping in the 2010 Olympics.

“Judge Lauri Ann Fenlon ruled against an elite, international group of 15 women ski jumpers who had sued VANOC over their exclusion from Olympic ski jumping at the 2010 Games. They had asked for a declaration that the Games must either include women’s ski jumping or have no ski jumping competitions at all.

However, in a moral victory for the women plaintiffs, Judge Fenlon found that their exclusion from the Winter Olympics is discriminatory. She noted that many of them have trained with and competed against men who will be Olympians next year.

‘The plaintiffs will be denied this opportunity for no reason other than their sex,’ Judge Fenlon wrote.

But she concluded that VANOC was not in breach of the Charter because the decision to keep their event from the Olympics was made by the International Olympic Committee, and only the IOC has the power to include the women at the Games. The IOC, she pointed out, is not bound by Canada’s Charter.”

So, while it was a moral victory, ultimately, the IOC has its way for 2010. We can only hope things will change for Russia 2014.

Source: Globe and Mail

We lost

Posted in lawsuit, Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping on July 10, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce

The court decision came today, and we lost. It’s sad, and I’m disappointed and still don’t understand. I’m putting excerpts of articles below. For entire story, click on the publication’s bold print. Also, Judge Fenlon’s decision can be downloaded from The Globe and Mail excerpt.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The B.C. Supreme Court has rejected a high-profile bid by women ski jumpers to be included in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Judge Lauri Ann Fenlon ruled against an elite, international group of 15 women ski jumpers who had sued VANOC over their exclusion from Olympic ski jumping at the 2010 Games. They had asked for a declaration that the Games must either include women’s ski jumping or have no ski jumping competitions at all.

However, in a moral victory for the women plaintiffs, Judge Fenlon found that their exclusion from the Winter Olympics is discriminatory. She noted that many of them have trained with and competed against men who will be Olympians next year.

“The plaintiffs will be denied this opportunity for no reason other than their sex,” Judge Fenlon wrote.

Read the decision (PDF)

But she concluded that VANOC was not in breach of the Charter because the decision to keep their event from the Olympics was made by the International Olympic Committee, and only the IOC has the power to include the women at the Games. The IOC, she pointed out, is not bound by Canada’s Charter.

“There will be little solace to the plaintiffs in my finding that they have been discriminated against [but] there is no remedy available to them in this Court,” she concluded in her 42-page decision released today.

“This is the outcome I must reach because the discrimination that the plaintiffs are experiencing is the result of the actions of a non-party (the IOC) which is neither subjected to the jurisdiction of this Court, nor governed by the Charter.”

There are three ski jumping events for men on the Games’ schedule, and none for women. Women ski jumpers argued this was a breach of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. …..

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SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Park City’s Lindsey Van won’t be ski jumping at the upcoming Vancouver Olympics, and neither will any other female athletes.

The reigning inaugural world champion is among 15 plaintiffs who lost their lawsuit against the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee on Friday, when Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the decision to exclude their sport is not illegal under Canadian law — even though it was discriminatory.

“In my mind, that’s pretty crazy,” Van said.

In a high-profile case that threatened to force historic changes just months before the Vancouver Games, the women had argued that being excluded from the Olympics violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which prohibits gender discrimination in government services.

But in a 42-page ruling, Fenlon said that only the International Olympic Committee – not the local organizing committee – controls which sports are allowed in the Olympics, and the IOC is not bound by Canadian law.

“VANOC did not make the decision to exclude women’s ski jumping from the 2010 Games,” Fenlon wrote. “VANOC did not support that decision. VANOC does not have the power to remedy it.” ……

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CBC

Female ski jumpers won’t be competing in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Supreme Court of B.C. has ruled.

American Lindsey Van is one of a group of female ski jumpers frustrated the IOC will not include their sport in the 2010 Winter Games. (CBC)In a ruling issued Friday, Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon expressed sympathy for the women, but said the court doesn’t have the authority to force the International Olympic Committee to include the sport in the 2010 Games.

The group of 15 former and current female ski jumpers went to court in April to argue their exclusion from the Vancouver Games violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

They wanted a court declaration that the organizing committee of the Vancouver Olympics, known as VANOC, must either hold women’s ski jumping in 2010 or cancel all ski jumping events.

VANOC argued that the IOC decides which sports are allowed in the Games and that the Charter doesn’t apply to it.

For its part, the IOC had insisted that its decision to keep women’s ski jumping out of the Vancouver Games was based on technical merit, not discrimination.

“The IOC would like to stress again the decision not to include women’s ski jumping has been taken purely on technical merit,” Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s media relations manager, said in an email to The Canadian Press in November 2008. “Any reference to the fact that this is a matter about gender equality is totally inappropriate and misleading.” …..

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Supreme Court hearing in B.C. is intense

Posted in lawsuit, Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping on April 23, 2009 by Vanessa Pierce

img_24531This week I am in Vancouver Canada for a Supreme Court case with my teammate Jessica Jerome, former teammate and team director Karla Keck, and other Canadian ski jumpers.  We are among 15 plaintiffs that filled a suit last May against VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) to try and get women’s ski jumping to the Olympic program for the games in Vancouver in 2010.  The other plaintiffs represent Norway, Germany, Austria, and Sloenija.

Today was day three of a five day hearing.  The first two days were given to the plaintiffs to argue.  Our lawyers, Ross Clark, and Jeff Horswill, have worked ard on this case over the last year.  They spent the time given explaining other court precedence-using past court decisions to prove that VANOC us a “government entity” and thus had to follow the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Clark spent mcuh of the second day showing how VANOC is those government decisions, and should be held to the Canadian Charter.  I thought there was an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows VANOC is a government entity.  It was very interesting, and intense at times.  I was sittting on the edge of my seat at points that nailed VANOC.  I felt the first two days went very well in our favor, and our arguments are very strong.

img_2470Today the defense had their chance to state their arguments.  Lawyers spent much of the day proving that VANOC was not controlled by the B.C. Provincial government, but rather IOC, which has “control” over the organizing committee’s decision making, and they only say what events are added to the Olympic program.  He went through many documents that showed VANOC wanted to include the women’s ski jumping, but only if the IOC had added the event to the program.  His whole claim is that because VANOC is not a governemnt entity, it is not held to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We have two more days left of the hearing, and Thursday s another day for VANOC.  Friday is split between the two sides for final arguments.  We have a woman judge that seems to be fair-minded, and she will be making her decision sometime in the next few months.  It seems like a while for a decison, but she has s many documents to review, so I can understand why she would need the time.

I am confident in our lawyers, and the arguments they have presented.  I am eager for this to be over and hear her final decison.  Other than sitting in court, we have been doing lots and lots of media.  The coverage is great locally and internationally, and the word is being spread.  Check out some of the links postef for some more coverage.  Thanks for all the support, I hope the judge rules in our favor!!!

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