Five women were disqualified from the Olympic ski-jump event because their clothes were too baggy
Five women ski jumpers were disqualified from the Olympic mixed-team event over loose clothing.
Baggier clothing could give jumpers extra loft in the air.
Skiers and coaches were outraged, saying they practiced in the same suits all week without issue.
Controversy struck the women's mixed-team ski-jumping event at the Beijing Olympics when officials disqualified five skiers who it said wore baggy clothing.
The skiers from Austria, Germany, Norway, and Japan were said to be wearing loose-fitting clothes that could have given them extra loft in the air, Yahoo's Jay Busbee reported.
But skiers and coaches argued that the disqualifications made little sense, as the teams used the suits during practice without issue.
"It is just strange that they have been using the same suits yesterday and there was no problem," German coach Stefan Horngacher said, Busbee reported. "It is annoying that this happens at the Winter Olympic Games. This should all be cleared before."
Clas Brede Bråthen, Norway's ski-jumping chief of sports, apologized on behalf of the sport, saying: "This is something we should have cleaned up in before the Olympics. The sport of ski jumping has experienced one of its darker days today."
Several of the skiers were outraged by the disqualification.
"The FIS destroyed everything with this operation. I think they have destroyed women's ski jumping," said Katharina Althaus, referencing the International Ski Federation, news.com.au reported. "I have been checked so many times in 11 years of ski jumping, and I have never been disqualified once. I know my suit was compliant."
Althaus, a silver medalist in 2018, later wrote on Instagram: "160 World Cup starts, 5x World Championships, 3x Olympic Games and I got DSQ for the first time. My heart is broken."
Anna Odine Strøm of Norway said the measurement method was different than usual and blamed her loose-fitting clothing on being in quarantine.
"It was a bit strange and didn't conform to how it's been done in the past," Strøm said, The Guardian reported. "It is a bit the result of me being in quarantine and not eating properly the whole week."
Women's ski jumping is relatively new to the Olympics, beginning in 2014. The mixed-team event debuted at the Beijing games.
Slovenia went on to win the event in dominant fashion. Russia took silver, and Canada took bronze. The winners were only slightly sympathetic to the disqualifications.
Canada's Abigail Strate said, "Equipment is very important in sport and disqualifications happen," Busbee reported.
She continued, "It's a very common thing to happen in ski jumping and the fact that it happened at the Olympics just goes to show that they were taking the rules pretty strictly and seriously because it is the absolute highest level of sport."
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