IOC member lauds women's ski jumping

Updated: February 26, 2011, 11:25 AM ET
Associated Press

OSLO, Norway -- Women's ski jumping is edging closer to the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee refused to admit the women to the 2010 Vancouver Games, but IOC member Gunilla Lindberg praised the quality of jumping at the Nordic world skiing championships.

Daniela Iraschko of Austria won gold Friday.

"I am impressed with what I have seen," Lindberg said. "The level among female ski jumpers is high, and the progress made during the last two years has been enormous."

The IOC will decide on the sport's Olympic future in April after reviewing Friday's event.

Lindberg said it was satisfying to see 43 nations represented in a final that took place in thick fog and strong wind at the Holmenkollen venue.

"We must take into consideration the difficult conditions," Lindberg said.

Several of the women had jumped more than 100 meters in training during the week, but the extreme weather limited jumps in the final.

New world champion Iraschko made a late recovery from a knee injury to claim the title, holding off Italy's Elena Runggaldier and Coline Mattel of France.

American Lindsey Van, the first women's ski jumping world champion, failed to make it to the final round. Van said her first-round jump felt good until she was caught by a vicious side wind on the way down.

"I can't believe they sent me down in that," Van said. "But that's the way it is. That's the sport."

The jumpers believe they are more than ready for the next Olympics.

"I think that we will start at Sochi 2014," Iraschko said. "Women's ski jumping is a great sport. It was really hard to jump today but I think we did very well."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press