Thursday, March 18, 2010

OT: Sexism in the Olympics

Two letters to the editor to an Ontario newspaper that put athletic "equality" in perspective:

First letter:

Sexism in the Olympics

Whatever happened to equal treatment? Are we still in the stone age? It was a great shock to me when I found out that there are Olympic sports that women are not allowed to compete in.

A perfect example is bobsledding. In the two-man bobsled race, our women got us a gold and a silver medal. Our men crashed. Despite this, women are not allowed to compete in the four-man bobsled race. Why?

Another example is ski jumping. The general excuse for no women's ski jumping is that they are not strong enough. Who can see Christine Nesbitt win gold in the ladies 1,000 metre speed skating race, and say that women are weak? In fact, women have won most of our medals. We have missed out on possible medals for Canada, and other countries around the world. There is no good explanation for letting men compete in a sport, and not women. We should stop this.

Mary Hamilton

Second letter in response to the first:

True equality would see males and females competing together

To the editor:

Regarding the letter from Mary Hamilton regarding sexism in the Olympics, March 11.

Women's ski jump wasn't included at these Games because they lobbied the International Olympic Committee roughly two years before the Vancouver Games. Like any bureaucracy, it takes a decade to get into the Games. They lobbied for inclusion too late.

Women's bobsled brought amazing results but this is their second Olympics. When they have the same amount of Olympic Games behind them that men's bobsled has, we will see how easy the medal winning will be.

In my opinion, if you want to be truly equal, women and men would be competing together, not separately in their own gender groups. Sadly, then you would see fewer females making the qualification to compete at the Games and a lot fewer with a podium finish. Would that type of equality be fair in our politically correct North American society?

Akos Sandor