After all, the United States will have a female ski jumper at the Olympics.
Anna Hoffmanoriginally the sixth alternate, entered the Olympic field after two nations surrendered a quota spot and four of the top five alternate nations declined berths, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Hoffmann, 21, won the Olympic trials over Christmas but was not scheduled to make it to the Beijing Games because the United States did not fare well in international competition to earn an Olympic spot.
“We are a developing and growing team, and our focus is more on the depth of our team and the long term.” Hoffmann said earlier this winter on NPR.
If the United States hadn’t had female ski jumpers in the Olympics for the first time, it would have been a noticeable absence.
The nation was at the forefront of the fight to include women’s ski jumping in the Games. The Americans were at the heart of the early milestones of women’s ski jumping.
In 2008, Lindsey Van and jessica jerome were among 15 female ski jumpers to sue the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee for gender discrimination because women’s ski jumping was not on the Olympic programme. Men’s ski jumping has been on the program since the first Winter Games in 1924.
Although the Supreme Court of British Columbia said the IOC had discriminated against gender by excluding women’s ski jumping, it did not compel organizers to hold an event, stating that Canadian law had no no jurisdiction over the IOC.
In 2009, Van won the first women’s event in the history of the World Ski Jumping Championships.
After the addition of women’s ski jumping to the Olympic program of the Sochi Games in 2014, America Sarah Hendrickson became the first woman to perform a competitive ski jump in Olympic history.
Van and Jerome retired after their only Olympics in 2014. Hendrickson announced his retirement last March. An American ski jumper has not finished in the top 10 of an individual World Cup in almost five years.
The American men earned three Olympic quota spots in ski jumping but failed to qualify for the Olympic team event for the first time. The men’s team event was added in 1988.
NBC’s Olympic Research contributed to this report.
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