Olympic officials disqualified five female ski jumpers at the mixed team ski jump final in Beijing on Feb. 7 due to uniform violations.
The disqualified ski jumpers were Sara Takanashi of Japan, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria, Katharina Althaus of Germany, and Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth of Norway.
Officials said the athletes’ jumpsuits were loose-fitting, which could give the skiers an unfair advantage as they soar through the air.
“The jumping suit must in all places and parts be tight-fitting the athlete’s body,” the International Ski Federation (FIS) equipment measuring guidelines stated.
However, the athletes argued that they wore the same jumpsuits to previous events where they were not disqualified.
Takanashi’s coach told Japanese broadcaster NHK that her suit was supposedly too big around her thighs, but she wore it during the women’s normal hill event on Feb. 5 and finished fourth.
Takanashi’s coach added that the extreme dry weather may have affected her body’s moisture content.
Althaus, who won a silver medal at an individual event on Feb. 5, insisted that her suit was compliant.
“I have been checked so many times in 11 years of ski jumping, and I have never been disqualified once,” Althaus said, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Opseth told Norwegian newspaper VG no officials raised any issue when she wore the same suit on Feb. 5 and
Opseth further said that the officials “measured in a completely different way and ran a new procedure.”
But FIS Official Aga Baczkowska claimed that there was “nothing new.”
Baczkowska also told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK that it was up to the team to ensure that their jumpsuits complied with the rules.
This year marked the debut of the mixed team ski jumping event at the Winter Olympics.
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