Olympic ski jumping event marred by controversy over outfits

Another day, another event, another controversy in Beijing.

Monday’s mixed team ski jump event, making its Olympic debut this year, saw a total of five jumpers disqualified for violations regarding their suits.

Athletes from Austria, Japan, Norway and Germany, all of whom are women, were judged to have worn loose-fitting attire that apparently gives jumpers an advantage as they soar through the air.

Katharina Althaus did not mince words after being disqualified from the mixed team ski jumping event at the Olympics. (Photo by Tom Weller/VOIGT/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Katharina Althaus did not mince words after being disqualified from the mixed team ski jumping event at the Olympics. (Photo by Tom Weller/VOIGT/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

German jumper Katharina Althaus was visibly upset following her dismissal from the event and wasn't shy in voicing her displeasure.

“The [International Ski Federation] destroyed everything with this operation. I think they have destroyed women’s ski jumping,” Althaus said, per German sports agency SID. “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.”

Her coach, Stefan Horngacher, also shared in his athlete’s disappointment with the controversial outcome.

“It is just strange that they have been using the same suits yesterday and there was no problem,” Horngacher said. “It is annoying that this happens at the Winter Olympic Games. This should all be cleared before.”

Norwegian ski jumping chief of sports Clas Brede Braathen called the situation a "dark day" for the sport.

"I am sorry on behalf of ski jumping," he said via Yahoo Sports Australia. "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.

"I'm lost for words, really. This is very painful for the athletes. I'm in pain on behalf of our sport. We were going to introduce a new event. The girls were to get a new event in the Olympics, and that's how it ends. And why are only girls being disqualified?"

With numerous contenders out of the running, Slovenia took home the gold medal, with Russia snatching silver and Canada taking bronze. The surprise trip to the podium marked Canada's first-ever Olympic medal in ski jumping.

Despite the inspiring stories and emotional triumphs already celebrated only a few days into these Olympics, the Games have had their fair share of controversial moments so far, ranging from sketchy judgement in skating races to complaints about the poor standards of certain athlete accommodations within the Olympic Village.

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