Lindsey Vonn Determined Far Too Awesome a Downhill Skier to Compete with the Dudes

Illustration for article titled Lindsey Vonn Determined Far Too Awesome a Downhill Skier to Compete with the Dudes

The International Ski Federation has told Lindsey Vonn, whose race-day nails are very glittery, that under no circumstances will she be able to compete in the men's World Cup downhill race Nov. 24 at Lake Louise, which, for all you geographically challenged readers, is in Canada, the cozy knit cap of the continental United States with a special earhole cut out for the cauliflower ear that is Alaska.


Though the Federation (which, when you put it that way, sounds like a nefarious governing body that presides over intergalactic affairs) did say that Vonn could request to be a forerunner, i.e. official course-tester, it rejected her request to compete in the men's World Cup race, officially insisting "one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other." There you have it, folks — the nefarious Inter[galactic] Ski Federation has spoken, and though Vonn could totally be included in the men's race as a forerunner, she then wouldn't be eligible to actually compete in the women's race.

According to the BBC, the much more congenially-named U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association petitioned the Federation to consider Vonn's request, and is pretty disappointed by the decision to not let Vonn compete. Also pretty bummed about the Federation's intransigence is President of Alpine Canada Max Gartner, who told the BBC that, not only would Vonn's inclusion in the men's race be a boon for the popularity of downhill skiing, but that Vonn, of all female skiers, was uniquely qualified to compete in the Lake Louise event:

Lake Louise is the perfect venue to have that comparison because Lindsey has as much experience on the mountain as many of the men have had. I hope Lindsey gets a chance to fulfill her dream at a later date.

Nbd or anything, but Vonn is a four-time overall World Cup champion, so…what's the problem? In an earlier statement to the New York Times, Vonn said she simply wanted the chance to do for her sport what Annika Sorenstam did for golf in paving the way for women to compete against men. Contrary to naysayers who put her "far outside" of the men, Vonn obviously thinks she could finish in the top 30 and just wants a chance to prove it. The Federation, however, bent on intergalactic ski tyranny, has taken great pains to ensure penis-wielding skiers all across the universe will not have to answer this opposite-sex ski challenge and therefore can continue to sip their hot cocoa in the warmth and safety of the lodge while a winter squall of gender inequities beats futilely against the window. Lindsey Vonn denied chance to race in men's World Cup downhill [BBC]

Image via AP


Sarah J

Hm, I guess I can understand why she wants to be in the men's competition. For one thing, it's not like skiing is one of those sports where one gender is at a much higher advantage. (which isn't always true of other sports. On average, men tend to be physically stronger while women are more flexible) So why do the competitions need to be separated by gender here? The main issue is that men's sports tend to get better funding and advertising, the athletes get better pay and more glory, so I can understand why she'd want to go for that.