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Women Make Debut in Winter Games

SOCHI, RUSSIA-- The countdown continues to the Olympic Games in Sochi. Since the beginning of the Winter Olympics, ski-jumping has exclusively been an all-male sport. But not anymore.
SOCHI, RUSSIA-- The countdown continues to the Olympic Games in Sochi. Since the beginning of the Winter Olympics, ski-jumping has exclusively been an all-male sport. But not anymore. The games are now making room for the women, who will make history in Sochi as women's ski-jumping makes its debut. Dana Greene takes us inside the games in this week's Going for the Gold report.

"It's a pretty cool story with a pretty happy ending."

The story began almost ten years ago when a group of American women were done watching other women athletes represent their country at the Olympics.

"We should be there walking with them into the opening ceremonies right now," says women's ski jumper, Abby Hughes. "This isn't okay."

After all, every other Olympic sport is open to both men and women. So, after years of fighting, battling, competing, and always hearing no, in 2011, the International Olympic Committee approved the women's ski jumping as an official Olympic event.

"We're equals, which is something that we've never said, ever."

"I can't thank them enough," says women's ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson. "I was pretty young and didn't really go through the fight personally. So, I can't thank them enough for all the hard work that they did. We're just very excited to show the world what women ski jumpers have been training so hard for."

"I think it's been past due, to let girls jump in the Olympics. I'm just happy that it's just around the corner."

They fought together so hard for so long, but now these women are competing against each other for four spots on the first American Olympic team.

"Of course if it were up to me, I'd be like 'Ya, let's all go compete. We're all friends. It'll be fun.' But, of course it's not like that," says ski jumper Jessica Jerome.

"It's kind of like everyone is working real hard right now," says ski jumper Alyssa Johnson. "You don't want your spot to go to someone else. It's a rat race for sure."

These are true Olympic pioneers, role models for girls who now have the chance to pursue the dreams at the highest level.

"When I was growing up jumping, I didn't really have a female role model. I always looked up to the guys. I want to make that opportunity available for girls to look up to women."

KNWA's Olympic coverage begins from Sochi on February 6th.

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