Let women jump: Oslo’s Holmenkollen Ski Jump and the Gender Debate

women's ski jumping

Earlier this week, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, possibly Oslo’s best known attraction, reopened. The old ski jump from 1892 was torn down in 2008 to make room for a new, improved hill to be ready for the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The ski jump has always been a very visible landmark in the city and many Oslovians have missed it dearly during these few years.

Interestingly, Norway has seen a huge debate the last few years on whether to allow women’s ski jumping, specifically whether women should be allowed to set out the largest ski jumps. While Norwegians in general feel it’s unfair and incomprehensible why women shouldn’t, some – notably male jumpers – seem to feel their domain threatened.

Listening to popular demand (including several Facebook groups) – Oslo’s city council decided 25-year-old Anette Sagen should be the inaugural jumper in the new Holmenkollen.

Local club Kollenhopp felt their candidate, world record holder Bjørn Erik Romøren should be bestowed this honour and was none too happy with the city council’s decision. In fact, so unhappy were they, they decided not to respect the decision and snuck in a bit of «test jumping» the night before. Of course, the first «test jumper» was none other than Romøren, causing a public outcry. Romøren is probably Norway’s least popular man these days.

The question of women’s ski jumping is by no means just a Norwegian issue. However, tellingly, the Facebook group Let women ski jump! Sochi 2014!, protesting the IOC’s decision to keep women jumpers out of the Olympics, does have a Norwegian admin. Feel free to join the group.

Photos: New Holmenkollen by aktivioslo, Anette Sagen mid air during the first official Holmenkollen jump by Helge Carlsen and Anette Sagen with reporters by lauvstad; all on flickr’s Creative Commons.

Earlier this week, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, possibly Oslo’s best known attraction, reopened. The old ski jump from 1892 was torn down in 2008 to make room for a new, improved hill to be ready for the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The ski jump has always been a very visible landmark in the city and many Oslovians have missed it dearly during these few years.

Interestingly, Norway has seen a huge debate the last few years on whether to allow women to set out the largest ski jumps. While Norwegians in general feel it’s unfair and incomprehensible why women shouldn’t, some – notably male jumpers – seem to feel their domain threatened.

Listening to popular demand (including several Facebook groups) – Oslo’s city council decided 25-year-old Anette Sagen should be the inaugural jumper in the new Holmenkollen.

Local club Kollenhopp felt their candidate, world record holder Bjørn Erik Romøren should be bestowed this honour and was none too happy with the city council’s decision. In fact, so unhappy were they, they decided not to respect the decision and snuck in a bit of «test jumping» the night before. Of course, the first «test jumper» was none other than Romøren, causing a public outcry. Romøren is probably Norway’s least popular man these days.

The question of women and ski jumping is by no means just a Norwegian issue. However, tellingly, the Facebook group Let women ski jump! Sochi 2014!, protesting the IOC’s decision to keep women jumpers out of the Olympics, does have a Norwegian admin. Feel free to join the group.

Photos: New Holmenkollen by aktivioslo, Anette Sagen mid air during the first official Holmenkollen jump by Helge Carlsen and Anette Sagen with reporters by lauvstad; all on flickr’s Creative Commons.

8 Responses to “Let women jump: Oslo’s Holmenkollen Ski Jump and the Gender Debate”

  1. Petter 8 March 2010 0024 #

    Anette Sagen ruler!

  2. Kim 10 March 2010 1654 #

    I can’t believe this! Of course women should be allowed jump. I can’t think of any reason they shouldn’t.

  3. Robert 12 March 2010 1815 #

    Great post! Unbelivable in this day and age. The IOC should be ashamed.

  4. Owen Kracker 25 March 2010 1537 #

    Thanks for the great article! It’s high quality. I have been visiting your site for a long time already and it’s the first time I comment. Keep up the very good work and keep on delivering the best value!

  5. Free PS3 26 March 2010 0512 #

    Haha, so true!

  6. seb 12 April 2010 0209 #

    Romøren is the man!!

  7. Borsa 17 February 2011 2247 #

    A place like a dream!
    I went to many different countries,
    But I always wanted to go to Oslo,
    Oslo everyone should see

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by SophieR: Let women jump! – http://ow.ly/1pTro1

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