Downhiller Lindsey Vonn was recently shut down by the Federation Internationale du Ski in her quest to race in a men’s DH, specifically the one at Lake Louise, where she has won the women's race no less than seven times.
Thankfully, the F.I.S. was on the spot to protect the world from Blurred Gender Roles and the hideous specter of a lady skiing in a men’s downhill. I was shocked, simply shocked, to find out that the current President of the F.I.S. remains one Gian Franco Kasper, the very same enlightened genius who said that women (oh, sorry--ladies*) shouldn't compete in Olympic Nordic Jumping for legitimate medical reason. Too much excitement makes them hysterical, I suppose. And then who would make Gian Franco’s sandwiches?
The F.I.S. has never had much use for women, and definitely not for women who might have the temerity to think for themselves or question The Wisdom of Authority. Imagine if a woman actually raced in--gasp!--the Men’s Race. Just think of the terrifying consequences. Society could collapse. Even more importantly, the World Cup itself might explode in a fiery conflagration. Way to go Lindsey, you self-centered bitch.
Let’s see… one of the greatest ski racers of all time, the most dominant woman in the sport, who also happens to be a rather attractive girl with a great body, wants to race, just once, in a men’s Downhill on the course she basically owns. She probably wouldn’t win, but she is legit enough to get top 20 or 30 for sure (meaning she would probably be faster than most of the male field). Now, if I was the organization in charge of growing and promoting ski racing, I’d spend every night fantasizing about a PR gold mine like that.
I mean really, what kind of creepy bastards would want to prevent a super rad hot chick from being as rad as possible? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. It’s like telling a f-ing eagle not to soar majestically, or telling me to put my pants back on at the bar.
If skiing (by which I mean “skiers”) wants to move forward, we’re going to have to boycott or annihilate the F.I.S.
You know an organization is unimaginative, authoritarian, and sexist when they can’t do the right thing for the right reasons even when it would be good for them. Personally, I am crass and sexist: I leer at women and often think of them as sex objects; I would and will happily sleep with the intern without even a fleeting pang of guilt. And yet even I am deeply ashamed and offended by the way that the F.I.S. is handling what should be a kickass historic moment. Admittedly, I don’t know jack about the World Cup. But someone who does, Canadian downhill great Todd Brooker, seems to be on the same page:
“I think it's just sad the way the bunch of old fuddy duddies who lead the F.I.S., hide behind their stupid, ancient rules to deny her request to race with the men instead of taking advantage of the momentum this great athlete has brought to the sport. I feel she has earned the right to race. The rules that the F.I.S. are hiding behind should have no bearing on allowing for this historic event to take place. They're just being so short sighted and ignorant.”
I’m a Mancuso man myself, but the fact remains that Lindsey Vonn is one of the greatest racers of all time. She’s better than all the other women on the DH course (and maybe most of the men), and she would like to compete against the best in the world. I think she’s earned it. But apparently Gian Franco and his friends at the F.I.S. know what’s best for the little lady. You just be quiet and ski now, honey.
It’s no big loss for Vonn, she’ll do just fine. But the stupidity of the decision in this case is a huge loss for skiing. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last as long as our friends at the F.I.S. are in charge.
*Anyone who has ever partied with ski racer chicks would never call them ladies. A woman who can squat 400 pounds and shin gates at 50 miles an hour is not a lady, she’s a Motherfuckin Amazon Warrior. And yet the F.I.S. doesn’t have a Motherfuckin Amazon Warrior division, or even a Women’s division. They do, however, have Ladies.