Vision 2020 Utah Delegate Deedee Corradini was featured in a special story on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams on battling the ban of women’s ski jumping in the Olympics.
The story focused on 29 year old Lindsey Van, a ski jumper from Park City, Utah who challenged the ban with former Salt Lake City mayor Deedee Corradini.
Van began ski jumping at the age of 9 in hopes of going to the Olympics. However, her dream was stalled when she discovered that women were banned from the competition. Instead, she became a test jumper for the men. But, she did not want to take no for an answer to participate as a competitor.
“My parents always told me you know you can do anything you want and if anyone tells me I can’t do it I say yes I can, let me show you,” said Van.
As far back as the 1860s women have been ski jumping—only not during the Olympic competitions.
For years, the Olympics denied women entry into this extreme sport competition. When first questioned, the Olympics officials of the 1950s said that a woman’s uterus made her too delicate to participate—causing infertility. This belief continued until 2006.
But, years later the truth surfaced. The Olympics did not want women to be given the opportunity because women’s ski jumping was not established yet. Van felt that this was only an excuse and the real reason was because it would cause the sport to not seem as daring with women as competitors.
The Vision 2020 Delegate also knew that this ban was an act of discrimination against women and went to court in protest during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Van and fourteen other jumpers from five countries sued for discrimination. But, only one court agreed with the women and they lost on appeal.
In 2011, Van, her teammates and Corradini learned over the phone that the Olympic board decided to lift the ban and allow women to ski jump.
Vision 2020 honors its Delegate for her efforts to bring equality in sight by fighting for equal opportunities for women in the Olympics.
Go to NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams to watch the full story.