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Women Hoping for Chance to Ski-Jump in Olympics

Women Hoping for Chance to Ski-Jump in Olympics



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Shelley Osterloh ReportingThis weekend the Utah Olympic Park host a big jumping competition and both men and women will compete. Not so in the upcoming Olympics. There are Olympic sports in which women are not allowed -- ski Jumping and Nordic combined which includes ski jumping and cross country skiing.

America's best male jumpers are training for this weekend's Continental Cup, and along side them are young women like Lindsey Van who is currently ranked fourth in the world and Allisa Johnson. Both have grown up in Park City, jumping at the Olympic Park.

They are featured in a new documentary to premier this weekend, called "Jump Like a Girl." The film shows the girl's early training and follows them from 2002 to 2005 as they train and work to convince the world that women can jump and should be allowed in the Olympics.

Alissa Johnson, Ski Jumper: "Mostly because it's the only Olympic sport that doesn't include women, they should be treated like men."

Lindsey Van, Ski Jumper: "Its 2005. I mean women are in every other single winter sport and there are women in ski jumping so I don't even see a reason why they've been excluded at all."

Van is 20 years old but has been jumping since she was four. While she and other women around the world are getting into more events, they continue to face obstacles and misperceptions.

Lindsey Van, Ski Jumper: "The international ski federation, it's kind of like a old traditional European group that doesn't want to accept women to ski jumping, maybe because they don't want to keep it more of an extreme sport and they think women will kind of change that up."

Ruth Gregory, Filmmaker "Jump Like a Girl": "The most controversial part of the film is when you have a representative of the international ski federation standing up there and saying that they are qualified but they are not allowed to jump because they are women."

Filmmakers Ruth Gregory and Jessica Mathews produced the documentary as a university thesis project, but hope it helps women gain equal access to the sport of Ski Jumping.

Jessica Mathews, Filmmaker "Jump Like a Girl": "I hope it will make people get involved and do something because they see how hard the girls work and how much they love the sport."

Women ski jumpers were denied acceptance into the 2006 games but hope 2010 will be their Olympic year.

The movie "Jump Like a Girl" shows Friday night at Park City's Eqyptian Theatre. And You can see how the women do this weekend at the Continental Cup. The competition runs both Saturday and Sunday starting at noon.

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