December 9, 2022

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Highlights of the Olympics: Medals for the doubles, curling, and bobsleigh

Highlights of the Olympics: Medals for the doubles, curling, and bobsleigh

credit…Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

Elaine Jo made history this week when she became the first freestyle skater to win three medals in a single Olympics, capping a stunning performance in Beijing with Gold in Half Pipe for Ladies Thursday.

Gu, an 18-year-old from California who competes with China, She won her first gold medal of the Games in the women’s major air skating competition in free skating, which was presented as part of the International Olympic Committee’s efforts to achieve gender parity at the Games. She also won Silver medal in the slopestyle . event this week.

The Beijing gameswhich concludes on Sunday, was Described by the International Olympic Committee as the most “gender-balanced” History of the Winter Games, where women made up a record 45 percent of athletes. this Up from 41 percent At the 2018 Pyeongchang Games – and 4.3 percent at the 1924 Games in Chamonix, France.

The Big women’s air event It is one of seven competitions added to the Olympic program in Beijing. Adding the mixed team format – where men and women compete together – to events in short track speed skating, snowboarding, aerobics and ice crossing is another part of the IOC’s efforts to promote gender equality. She competed in the inaugural monobob competition by women only.

Efforts to achieve gender parity are going in the right direction in some ways, said Nicole M. Lavoye, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports at the University of Minnesota.

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“Being able to showcase their talents alongside their male peers is a good move,” Lavoie said of female Olympians.

But the number of women competing in the Games isn’t the only yardstick by which equality can be measured, and women are still “competing in a system where they don’t feel safe, valued, or supported,” she said.

The founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, banned women from competing in the inaugural games of 1896. In 1900, 22 women were welcomed into five events—including croquet—while 975 men competed in everything from track and field to kayaking;

The number of women participating in the Olympics has gradually increased since then, but it wasn’t until 2014 IOC planning agenda It included a recommendation that the committee work “to achieve 50 per cent female participation in the Olympic Games”.

While the gap narrows, there are still little or no areas of access for women compared to men.

Nordic combined, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and snowboarding that has been on the Olympic schedule since 1924, is the only winter sport in which women do not participate. (Women are expected to be able to compete soon, Maybe by 2026.)

Even if the sport is available to both men and women, there are often far fewer competition venues for women than there are for men. This week, skater and skeleton athlete Semedel Adigbo, who in 2018 became the first black woman to compete in a skeleton at the Olympics, sent a letter to the board of directors because her sport claims gender discrimination has prevented her from competing in this year’s Games. . In the message that Earlier reported by ReutersAdeagbo’s lawyers said she was excluded from a monobob event in Beijing due to “a pernicious and deliberate gender disparity in the number of skating spots available to men and women.”

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Men have the advantage of seats: There are 28 places for men’s skating for the four-man bobsleigh event and 30 places for the two-man competition. 20 places are reserved for ladies in monopop and 20 places in two-woman bobsleigh.

There are disparities in other sports at the Winter Olympics. Cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, biathlon, and long-track speed skating all have men’s events that cover greater distances than women’s. If men compete in events seen as “greater” than women, Lavoie said, this casts a shadow over women’s events, which may be “considered secondary or less so.”

The figure skating jump, which added a women’s section in 2014, was also short. Although a mixed team event has been added to the Olympic agenda in Beijing, giving women another chance to win medals, men still have greater chances of climbing to the podium. Anna Hoffman of the United States, who debuted at the Olympics in Beijing, posted a video on TikTok highlighting the fact that the snowboarding event that shows off the big hill, which is nearly 450 feet high, excludes women from the Olympics, although that women can do that. Now compete on the big hills in other international events, Including the world championship.

Hoffman said the competition on the big hill in the women’s game has been exceptional, but despite the achievements in recent years, “we are still told to be patient and wait” when it comes to the Olympic programmes.

“We shouldn’t struggle for this,” she said, adding later that the problem was not to ensure equal results for men and women in different sports.

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“It’s about opportunity, and that’s what we’re asking for,” Hoffman said.