The IOC Made Me Do it: Women's Ski Jumping, VANOC and the 2010 Winter Olympics
Constitutional Forum Constitutionnel, Vol. 18, pp. 95-107, 2010
13 Pages Posted: 27 May 2010 Last revised: 29 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2010
This case comment discusses the judicial decisions in Sagen v. VANOC regarding the constitutional challenge brought by women ski jumpers to their exclusion from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. While the claimants argued that the constitutional equality provision (section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) had been infringed, the BC courts' decisions focussed on the novelty of the state action problem. At least one level of court accepted that the exclusion was discriminatory but the challenge failed because the decision to exclude lay within the power of the International Olympic Committee, an entity beyond the ambit of the Canadian Charter. The author concludes that the Charter has contributed little toward stuggles for a just and fair society.
Keywords: Olympic Games, sex discrimination, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 15, ski jumping, women athletes, sport discrimination
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