Five female competitors were disqualified from the mixed team ski jump final in the Beijing Winter Olympics because of uniform violations. 

Why it matters: Olympic officials said the loose-fitting suits the ski jumpers were wearing were “too big and offered an offered an aerodynamic advantage,” according to Today.com.

  • Larger suits offer more wind resistance, potentially allowing ski jumpers to stay in the air longer. Suits are inspected by officials at each event.

The problem with the disqualifications is that the suits the ski jumpers were wearing had apparently been cleared in earlier jump outings, according to Yahoo Sports.

  • “The (International Ski Federation) destroyed everything with this operation. I think they have destroyed women’s ski jumping,” said Katharina Althaus, a three-time Olympian and 2018 silver medalist, said after the disqualification announcement. “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.”
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Details: The disqualification left some athletes in tears and caused outrage among the affected teams. The disqualified ski jumpers were:

  • Sara Takanashi of Japan.
  • Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria.
  • Katharina Althaus of Germany.
  • Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth of Norway. 
Silje Opseth, of Norway, soars through the air during the women’s normal hill individual first round at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. | Matthias Schrader, Associated Press

Opseth said she wore the same suit two days earlier in the women’s normal hill event and was not disqualified, Today.com reported.

  • “I think they checked it in a new way today compared to what they had done previously, I think it’s very strange that they would suddenly change how they do it in the middle of a tournament,” Opseth said. “I don’t know what to say. I’m really just shaken. I’m sorry that I was disqualified today.”

The big picture: The disqualification controversy overshadowed Slovenia’s gold medal victory in the mixed team event Monday. Germany was the favorite going into the competition, according to Reuters.

  • “This is a parody, but I am not laughing,” Germany’s head of Nordic events Horst Huttel told Reuters. “It is outrageous that this happens with the four biggest ski-jump nations.”

In July 2021, the Norwegian women’s handball team wore mid-thigh elastic shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms and was fined for violating international handball uniform requirements, the Deseret News reported.

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