The women’s ski jumping mixed team competition at the 2022 Olympics was overshadowed by multiple disqualifications over athletes’ outfits.
Five female ski jumpers representing Austria, Japan, Norway (twice) and Germany were disqualified from the competition for wearing loose-fitting suits. According to news.com.au, it was determined that the clothing could give athletes an advantage while in the air.
After Germany’s Katharina Althaus was disqualified in the first the round, she reportedly was brought to tears and accused the International Ski Federation (FIS) of “destroying” and “damaging” women’s ski jumping.
“I have been checked so many times in 11 years of ski jumping, and I have never been disqualified once, I know my suit was compliant,” Althaus wrote in a post on Instagram.
“160 World Cup starts, 5x World Championships, 3x Olympic Games and I got DSQ for the first time. My heart is broken.”
German ski jumper star Karl Geiger addressed the situation on social media and questioned the rules and regulations for female ski jumpers.
“We stick together no matter what! Nevertheless, I have to ask myself whether the regulations for the women were changed overnight, with so many disqualifications?!? It was neither the right time nor the right place to disqualify so many athletes from different nations,” Geiger wrote on Instagram.
According to news.com.au, Germany’s national team coach Stefan Horngacher said the controversy is “not good for the sport… but the rules have to be accepted.”
Horngacher added, “It is just strange that they have been using the same suits (Saturday) and there was no problem.”
Norwegian ski jumping chief of sports Clas Brede Braathen reportedly apologized on behalf of ski jumping and said, “This is something we should have cleaned up in before the Olympics. The sport of ski jumping has experienced one of its darker days today.”
Slovenia ended up winning the women’s ski jumping mixed team competition by a stretch with 1,001.5 points. Russia came in second (890.3), followed by Canada (844.6).
“For me it is a puppet theatre. The entire season the suits have been an issue,” Horngacher said.
“I am unbelievably angry and I don’t understand it. We had super jumps, you can only be disappointed with this.”