Skiing | FIS’s landmark decision caused a great deal of controversy. “Girls will not succeed”

In May of this year, the International Ski Federation (FIS) made a significant decision. The organization has decided that from the 2022/2023 season, runners and runners will compete at the same distances. How do stakeholders themselves refer to this issue? Opinions are divided.

Photo by Irek Trawka

Historical change

The issue of equalizing the distance between men and women competing in the Ski World Cup has been on the agenda for some time in an international competition environment. However, only in May of this year, the international committee voted to equalize the distances for the players competing in the cup competition. From the 2022/2023 season, the ladies and gentlemen will compete for World Cup points: sprint, 10 km run, 20 km skiathlon and 50 km marathon. Therefore, the following distances have been removed from the cup calendar: 15 kilometers (previously: women’s combined race and men’s individual race) and 30 kilometers (so far: men’s combined race and start of women’s marathon).

Strong Russian resistance

Among others, the Russians oppose the decision of the International Ski Federation. According to Alexander Bolszunov, such an important issue should be discussed in advance with runners and runners. – It is not right. Before making such decisions, you should consult with the athletes, organize a vote on who is in favor and who is against, – said the five-time winner of the Beijing Olympics. – Men’s and women’s bodies are different. Therefore, runners have to cover their distances, and runners have their own – added the second opponent of the last edition of the cup race.

Maria Istomina, 25, from Tyumen, spoke in a similar vein. – I am not positive about it. I don’t think girls can’t run 50 kilometers. True, we do it in training. (…) But after running such a distance, women need enough time. Otherwise, there may be overloads and overwork – Sborna’s player defended his opinion in an interview with Russian media.

The skepticism of the Swedes

A slightly different position is represented by Trzy Korony, who (mostly) supports the decision of the organization under the auspices of the World Cup, but also sees some of its shortcomings.

– It is good that we have a more unified sports discipline, and FIS dared to take this step. In many other sports, there is no difference in distance between men and women. So this is a positive, Ebba Andersson believes. However, he fears that this homogeneity may make the race less attractive. – The loss of 30 and 15 km starts is a little sad, – says the opponent. – It would be good if there was a little more than everything possible. It wouldn’t hurt if there were different distances every weekend – says his Swedish counterpart William Poromaa. According to Johanna Hagstroem, the best solution would be to combine running times, not distances.

Johan Olsson, a multiple winner of the World Championships and the Olympic Games, also spoke on the issue. – I am in favor of making the distances as similar as possible (even presented in the same way). However, it is wrong to make distance between men the norm, the retired footballer said in an interview with Swedish media.

Others do not hide their satisfaction

For example, two-time Olympic champion from Pyongyang Ragnhild Haga is satisfied with the decision of FIS. – I think it is a very good step. I know that Norwegian athletes disagree on this issue, but I think it is good that in the end it will be possible to compete at equal distances – admitted the 31-year-old athlete from Nannestad.

French officials agree. – I think this is a positive change. This proves that we are thinking about the evolution of the sport, that we want to do something for this discipline. There will always be happy and dissatisfied people. (…) I find it interesting to differentiate distances. It will give some girls extra opportunities (…). It’s a very exciting thing, and I’m looking forward to it, “said Dolphin Claudel.

– It suits me personally (…). In today’s society, there must be equality between men and women everywhere. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, remember, but it would be a shame to justify it. But I’m happy, because it will allow me to achieve better results in distances, said the best sprinter of last winter, Richard Jouve.

Since the decision of the International Ski Federation is truly revolutionary, it should come as no surprise that it is met with so many different opinions. Like any change of this caliber, it has both supporters and opponents. Which side is right? Probably a little from each …

Source: personal information; sports.ru; nordicmag.info; langd.se; vg.no; expressen.se

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