The 2022 Winter Olympics hosted its first mixed team ski jumping event on Monday in Beijing. Slovenia’s win of the tournament’s debut didn’t come without its fair share of drama. For instance, judges for the competition issued a total of five disqualifications due to clothing violations. As a result, an extremely upset group of athletes and their respective coaches are speaking out against officials of the sport.
Five ski jumpers from Germany, Austria, Norway, and Japan were among those disqualified from the competition. Judges for the contest found the athlete’s ski suits didn’t comply with the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) rules. Also, according to Yahoo News, the suits were too loose which could give the skiers a slight edge on their jumps.
Host Huttel, Germany’s head of Nordic events, called the rulings “outrageous” via Reuters. “This is a parody, but I am not laughing … It is outrageous that this happens with the four biggest ski-jump nations.”
Each mixed ski team at the 2022 Winter Olympics consists of two men and two women. Interestingly, all five disqualified candidates were women. Athletes penalized for their outfits are beside themselves after hearing the rulings. After all, they’ve been training for this moment for their entire lives.
Winter Olympics athletes speak out
Among those disqualified from the Olympic sport is Germany’s silver medalist Katharina Althaus. Katharina made sure to voice her outrage at the judge’s decisions claiming they “destroyed” the sport.
Althaus took to Instagram to call out the FIS. “I have no words for the decisions that were made today 😔,” she wrote. “Our sport was damaged as a result. Athletes and their dreams [were] destroyed.”
“I’m sorry but I’ve NEVER been in 11 years!!! disqualified… It was one of the most important competitions for us women, a premiere for the entire sport and then something like that!! I am so disappointed and angry. We really gave everything to be here and all showed our best jumps. I’m devastated and can’t understand it.”
Besides Katharina Althaus, additional athletes disqualified because of suit violations include Norway’s Silje Opseth and Anna Odine Stroem, Japan’s Sara Takanashi, and Austrian Daniela Iraschko-Stolz.
Silje Opseth left the arena in tears. She told reports after the competition that her suit was the same one she wore in Saturday’s competition in which she received no penalty from the judges.
“I think they checked it in a new way today compared to what they had done previously, I think it’s very strange that they would suddenly change how they do it in the middle of a tournament,” said a teary-eyed Opseth.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m really just shaken. I’m sorry that I was disqualified today,” she said.
In conclusion, the 2022 Winter Olympic mixed team ski jumping event saw Slovenia take home the gold with a score of 1,000.5 points, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee and Canada.