Five ski jumpers disqualified at the Olympics for loose clothing

  • Five female ski jumpers have been disqualified from the Olympic mixed team event due to loose clothing.
  • Looser clothing could give jumpers more volume in the air.
  • Skiers and coaches were outraged, saying they had been training in the same suits all week without issue.

Controversy hit the women’s mixed team ski jumping event at the Beijing Olympics when officials disqualified five skiers who they said were wearing loose clothing.

Skiers from Austria, Germany, Norway and Japan wore loose clothing that could have given them more volume in the air, Yahoo’s Jay Busbee reported.

But skiers and coaches argued the disqualifications didn’t make sense because teams used the suits during practice without issue.

“It’s just strange that they used the same combinations yesterday and there was no problem,” Germany coach Stefan Horngacher said, Busbee reported. “It’s annoying that this is happening at the Winter Olympics. This should all be sorted out before.”

Clas Brede Bråthen, Norway’s ski jumping sports chief, apologized on behalf of the sport, saying: “It’s something we should have cleaned up before the Olympics. The sport of ski jumping has had a one of his darkest days today.”

Several skiers were outraged by the disqualification.

“The FIS destroyed everything with this operation. I think they destroyed women’s ski jumping,” said Katharina Althaus, referring to the International Ski Federation, reported. “I’ve been tested so many times in 11 years of ski jumping, and I’ve never been disqualified once. I know my suit was compliant.”

Althaus, a silver medalist in 2018, then wrote on Instagram: “160 World Cup starts, 5x World Championships, 3x Olympics and I got DSQ for the first time. My heart is broken.”

Germany's Katharina Althaus is competing in ski jumping in 2022.

Catherine Althaus.

Tom Weller/VOIGT/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Anna Odine Strøm from Norway said the measurement method was different from normal and blamed her baggy clothes on being quarantined.

“It was a bit strange and not in line with how it was done in the past,” Strøm said, The Guardian reported. “It’s kind of the result of me being in quarantine and not eating properly all week.”

Women’s ski jumping is relatively new to the Olympics, since 2014. The mixed team event made its debut at the Beijing Games.

Slovenia went on to win the event in dominant fashion. Russia won silver and Canada bronze. Winners were only mildly sympathetic to 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 that happens in ski jumping and the fact that it happened at the Olympics just shows that they were sticking to the rules quite strictly and seriously, because that’s the absolute highest level of sport.”

Elizabeth J. Harless