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Utah ski jumper to speak out against infertility theory

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Feb 28th, 2013 @ 11:01pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A year from now, it's very likely another Utahn will bring home a gold medal from the Winter Olympic Games.

That's not uncommon, especially for the Winter Olympics, but in the sport of ski jumping it will be a first for women.

For decades, it's been a fight for women who wanted to ski jump at the highest international level. In fact, it was thought women could not physically perform in the event because repetition of training would cause infertility.

It's a notion that was introduced in the 1960s and has been expressed publicly as recent as 2006, by the president of the International Ski Federation, Gian Franco Kasper.

"It's like jumping down from, let's say, about 2 meters on the ground about a thousand times a year," Kasper said, "which seems not to be appropriate for ladies, from a medical point of view."

U.S. Ski Jumper and Park City resident Lindsey Vonn spoke out against the theory to NBC's Rock Center in a long-form interview about women's ski jumping slated to air Friday night.

"It just makes me nauseous, like I kind of want to vomit. I mean, really?" Vonn told NBC reporter Kate Snow.

Deedee Corradini, former Salt Lake City mayor and current president of Women's Ski Jumping USA, also disagrees with the theory.

"I know he said that, but we know that's not true," she said.

Regardless of the International Olympic Committee's reasoning for banning women's ski jumping in the past, Corradini said the recent decision to include the sport the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games is monumental.

"(The Sochi Games) will be the first gender-equal Olympics in history, because women's ski jumping was the last event that was not allowed in the Olympics for women," she said.

The rest of Vonn's interview will air Friday night on NBC, right before KSL 5 News at 10. She and her team are certainly eager to make their Olympic debut a year from now.

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