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FIS rejects skier Lindsey Vonn’s bid to compete with men at Lake Louise

Lindsey Vonn won’t be racing against the men at the upcoming Lake Louise downhill competition, at least not formally.

Following a meeting in Switzerland, the International Ski Federation (FIS) denied the request by the American skiing great to race alongside the men on the Alberta course on Nov. 24, stating in the decision that they “confirmed that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other,” and that “exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rules.”

The news came as a disappointment to Alpine Canada president Max Gartner.

“I saw it as a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport by attracting interest from people who do not normally follow ski racing, particularly in North America,” Gartner said in a release. “It would have provided a great platform to showcase our sport and the amazing athletic performances of our athletes.

“Lindsey has achieved many milestones in ladies’ ski racing. It would have been interesting to see how she stacked up against the best male racers in the world. Lake Louise is the perfect venue to have that comparison because Lindsey has as much experience on the mountain as many of the men have had. I hope Lindsey gets a chance to fulfill her dream at a later date.”

There is still the possibility that the four-time overall World Cup champion could apply to become a forerunner — which is someone who skis the course before the beginning of a race. Those results are not counted, but allows the participant to see what their time would be versus the other competitiors.

If Vonn were to be a forerunner in the men’s race, she would not be allowed to participate in the women’s event at Lake Louise six days later.

CBC | Sports News

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