Equal Rights: Provide Equal Opportunity Race Distances for Women in Nordic Skiing.

Equal Rights: Provide Equal Opportunity Race Distances for Women in Nordic Skiing.

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Molly Peters started this petition to FIS, USSA, NCAA

We are asking for women and men to please sign this petition asking the major Nordic racing hosts below to provide equal opportunity race distances for women! 

  • International Ski Federation (FIS
  • U.S. Ski and Snowboard (USSA
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)   

At every level of nationwide racing, women’s races are significantly shorter than men’s; women often only race half the distance that men race.  This creates an entirely different race experience for women, and also sends an implied message about what female athletes are and are not capable of doing.  This must change!

We believe that when schedules are written, and women consistently race shorter distances than men, it is a format based on long held traditions at the highest levels.  Tradition is not an excuse to continuously disregard inequity.  Women race the same distances as men in virtually every other sport, such as marathons and Ironman triathlons and are fully capable of racing the same distances in Nordic races.  

Furthermore, the performance differences between male and female nordic ski racers are smaller than many people realize.   When men and women race the same distance there is a significant amount of overlap in race time.  When they race unequal race distances men and women are having completely different race experiences with no overlap in time.  Separate race distances is a solution to a non-existent problem; there is no compelling reason to require women and men to race different distances.

Most importantly, what message are we giving our athletes when we assign shorter distances to female skiers?  Requiring girls to race shorter distances sends an unmistakable message, intended or not, that women are not as capable as men.  This reinforces the stereotype that women have lived with for generations: that the competitive accomplishments of men are valued more than the achievements of females.  It is hard to imagine that boys and young men don’t absorb that message as well.  And importantly, by providing equality of opportunity in sport, the Nordic ski community will prepare everyone to expect equality of opportunity in areas beyond sport, such as employment and compensation.

We firmly believe that we as a ski community must change the inequality in the sport we all love, to provide a more fair and equitable experience for all our athletes.  Race formats that reinforce antiquated gender expectations are neither best for the sport nor for our racers.  We can do better, and we are asking all major race organizations for a change!  

Please share your reasons for signing!  Your signatures and comments will be included in a letter to these organizations asking for equal opportunity race distances!  

Share this petition with others who support equal rights for all genders in sport, and tell us why you support this change using the hashtag #SkiEqual

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!