The Coalition of Athletes for Inclusion in Sport advocates an inclusive sport system open to all people, at all levels of participation. We believe that the rules of organized sport have for too long marginalized or excluded people for reasons other than their athletic ability.
In January the International Olympic Committee is hosting a summit on gender and sport. Recently, the IOC has made decisions that have a very negative impact on women. The decision to exclude female ski jumpers at the Vancouver Olympic Games, thus requiring Canada to host an event that discriminates on the basis of gender in a country in which gender discrimination is prohibited, is very discouraging to Canadians whose laws will be violated.
In addition, the IOC’s long history of persecuting women who do not fit the IOC’s narrow definition of gender, has a humiliating and extremely upsetting impact on these women and is a violation of their dignity.
As athletes committed to inclusive sport and the shared values of the Olympic movement, and to human compassion for all living beings, we urge the IOC to commit to equitable and inclusive sport processes, that do not marginalize a person based on culture, sexuality, gender, physical ability or any other factor that is irrelevant to a person’s actual (rather than assumed) ability to participate in sport.
We request that the IOC work with and listen to international professionals inrelevant fields of expertise, international and national sport governing bodies, women’s and men’s organizations, and athletes who have been marginalized and effected by policies created by the IOC. IOC policies directly effect athletes lives, and their participation in high performance sport.
Because of the IOC’s accountability to sport and its participants, we urge the IOC to ensure complete transparency of any policy that directly affect the development and assurance of equitable sport. As the Coalition of Athletes for Inclusion in Sport, we seek to assure a sport system that is inclusive, safe and sustainable. We urge the IOC to aspire to similar goals that truly reflect the evolution of the Olympic Movement and its values in modern society.
Published December 2009