The world champion demands equal opportunities with men. At home, the athlete approves the act.
Getting to the Olympic Games is the dream of most professional athletes. By default, everyone should have the right to participate in the world tournament – the main thing is that they be the strongest in their disciplines. However, in reality, the IOC still creates artificial obstacles and restrictions for some athletes – and not only on political grounds. For their rights, as it turns out, women still have to fight.
To draw attention to the problem, the Norwegian skier even staged a bright performance and … got a beard.
At home, the champion was immediately supported.
With no exceptions
Norwegian athlete Guda Westwall Hansen, competing in Nordic combined, at the tournament in Beitostolen delighted the audience not only with a stubborn struggle for awards, but also with a painted beard. The facial hair, as planned, was not supposed to protect from the cold, but to signal a serious problem.
“If I looked like this, then the 2026 Olympics would become a reality for me,” the Norwegian athlete explained to TV2.
The organizers of Hansen’s painted beard were not only sympathetic, but they themselves actively showed creativity in order to support the girls rejected by the Olympic officials. On the launch pad was an “X” icon, which meant “no exceptions.” The “bearded” skier at the finish line showed something similar with her hands, explaining to the dull ones that she was in the forefront of the struggle against these very exceptions. Not therapeutic, of course, but sexual.
The suffering of the brave Norwegian and her more modest beardless colleagues is due to the fact that there will be no women’s Nordic combined at the 2026 Olympics. However, there were no girls in this discipline at the 2022 Olympics, as well as at all previous Games. In fact, at the World Championships, women’s competitions took place only in 2021. By the way, Hansen won there, which is why she is worried about the impossibility of becoming an Olympic champion.
Vice-champion of the tournament in Beitostolen and bronze medalist of the World Championship Marthe Leinan Lunn supports the initiative of his colleague from the Norwegian national team and hints at the possibility of continuing similar actions throughout the season. Pressure should build up by March 2023, when the IOC will make a final decision on whether or not to include women’s combined events in the 2026 Olympics.
“We will do everything in our power to influence the IOC so that we are taken to the Olympic Games,” Leinan Lunn quotes TV2 of the threat.
The Norwegians have something to fight for – at the 2021 World Cup, they occupied the entire podium. Will Russia benefit from the “bearded” activity of rivals, if they still manage to bend the IOC? In terms of medal prospects – hardly. The best of our athletes at the tournament in Oberstdorf was Stefania Nadymova, who took 13th place. Svetlana Gladkova showed the 24th result. So if Russia goes to the Games in Milan, then in this discipline it will bring participants rather than potential medalists.
Criteria for the Olympics
The issue of equal opportunity in Olympic sports is perhaps worthy of attention, since the IOC constantly talks about the “Games for All”. But we should not forget that such significant decisions as the addition of sports discipline should not run counter to the Olympic Charter. And it spelled out clear criteria on this issue.
A sport or individual discipline must have strong global recognition. The factor is vague, but we can assume that everything is in order here, since women managed to compete at the World Championships. Wide distribution on three continents is a passing criterion. In Europe, Asia and North America there are flying skiers who transform into running skiers during the start. Distribution in specific countries is a little more complicated. The Charter for the Winter Games requires popularity in at least 25 states. If we focus on the 2021 World Cup, then there, together with the Russians, there will be only a dozen.
Also in the Olympic Charter it is noted that the inclusion of disciplines must be carried out at least seven years in advance. But the IOC is no stranger to breaking its own rules. In fact, the decision to include specific Games in the program is made at a meeting of the IOC Executive Board no later than three years before the Olympics.
That is, formally, there is time, and the number of countries burning with love for women’s Nordic combined can be attributed if necessary. Hansen and the rest of the Norwegians will rejoice, but only in this case they will have to deprive other sports so as not to stretch the program indefinitely. The main thing is that these suddenly deprived poor fellows also do not start drawing something …