Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2014 Contents A59
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
CENTURION---The mother of Oscar
Pistorius' slain girlfriend will attend the
double-amputee Olympian's murder trial
next month to get "closure," Reeva
Steenkamp's family said yesterday as
the anniversary of the shooting death
that put a national hero in the dock
"June and other family members will
be at the trial in Pretoria," Steenkamp's
parents, Barry and June, said in a
statement released through the family
lawyers. "All we are looking for is closure
and to know that our daughter did not
suffer on that tragic Valentine's Day."
No members of Steenkamp's
immediate family have attended any of
Pistorius' previous court dates, and the
decision makes it likely that Pistorius will
come face-to-face in court with the
family of the woman he says he loved
dearly and shot dead in a tragic accident.
Prosecutors believe Pistorius intended
to kill Steenkamp after a loud fight heard
by neighbors. The Steenkamp family
statement did not say if father Barry
would attend the trial opening on March
3 in the capital, Pretoria. (AP)
KRASNAYA POLYANA---Two giant leaps by
a 22-year-old woman, and another small
step for womankind.
Like Neil Armstrong, Carina Vogt carved
her name into history. No, she didn t land
on the moon. Only 12 men got to do that.
Women have had to do all of their flying on
or around Earth. And, oh, did Vogt fly yes-
Her huge leaps and steady nerves made
her the first female ski jumping champion
in Olympic history. Floating above the gleam-
ing, flood-lit white hill, the German gracefully
shattered a glass ceiling that should have
been dismantled years ago.
Battling long and hard for this, their rightful
place at the Olympics, made the ski jumping
women into a close-knit, even more deter-
mined sorority. But as emancipating as it
was to see Vogt and the 29 other pioneers
soar with their braids and ponytails, this
night isn t even the beginning of the end of
the fight for gender equality in sports.
Trends of girls doing less sport than boys
start in childhood. Too often, women athletes
who do reach the top see less money, less
sponsorship and less media coverage than
So the ground-breaking must not stop
with these women with their big skis and
big hearts who proved to a global audience
what they themselves already knew: That
they can hurl themselves down an icy hill
and into the void with the best and bravest.
In the crowd on this chill and historic
Russian night were parents whose persistent
lobbying and simple argument---"Our girls
can jump!"---embarrassed and helped wear
down stick-in-the-muds in skiing and at
the International Olympic Committee who
eventually ran out of excuses.
They included Peter and Barbara Jerome,
parents of Jessica, from Park City, Utah. She
placed tenth. Peter said the trek his daughter
and the other women had to take to get this
far taught him "that life is not fair."
"Women are the underdog in sport
because, I think for whatever reason, they
are the underdog in producing revenue," he
But achieving equality in sport---indeed
in life---isn t merely a question of finance
but also of will and of challenging tradition.
At the Sochi Games, the IOC added more
opportunities for women to compete. Biathlon
and luge, for example, both have new relay
races with men and women teaming togeth-
er.Still, there are 1,712 male athletes in Sochi
to 1,155 women, and 18 of the 88 countries
brought no female competitors. Nordic com-
bined, where athletes ski jump and race cross-
country, has no women competitors.
Ski jumping gave the women one com-
petition, for 30 jumpers. The men got 70
competitors and three competitions, one on
the so-called "normal" hill that the women
jumped and another two on the even larger
hill that remains an exclusive male preserve
at the Olympics and will stay that way at
the next games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Women have two large hill events on their
World Cup circuit. But the ski federation
which organizes the Olympic jumping com-
petition only wants to add a mixed-gender
team event on the smaller hill in 2018. That
will double the women s medal chances but
also mean they remain junior partners to the
"The discipline is still very young," said
the federation s ski jump competition director,
Walter Hofer. "Step by step we will improve."
Peter Jerome doesn t buy that.
Women jump on larger hills "all the time.
They are more than capable," he said. "It s
always easy to justify a go-slow approach."
For the record, Vogt s first jump of 103
meters was further than all but two of the
men, although the women did start from
slightly higher up on the hill.
Perched on the seat at the top, Vogt stared
through her goggles at the giddy drop-off
and threw herself down it.
Into a crouch, arms behind her, accelerating
to 90 kph (55 mph)---faster than most sports
The rumble of her skis on the ice grew to
a roar underneath her.
She was in the air.
Flying, flying, flying.
The "oooh!" from the crowd drowned out
the gunshot-like crack the skis make on
landing, slapping against the hard snow.
As she came to a stop, James Brown singing
"I Feel Good" played over the speakers.
Quite a night. (AP)
SOCHI---Norway won a double gold in the cross-
country freestyle sprints at the Sochi Olympics
yesterday, with Maiken Caspersen Falla taking the
women s title and Ola Vigen Hattestad capturing
the men s in a race marred by a three-skier col-
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway also won
silver in the women s sprint. The three medals give
the Scandinavian country a total of 102 in cross-
country skiing since the Winter Olympics began in
Emil Joensson of Sweden, who had all but given
up earlier in the men s race, grabbed the bronze
after Sergey Ustiugov of Russia, Marcus Hellner of
Sweden and Anders Gloeersen of Norway were
involved in a crash that left them sprawled across
the course. Soft snow caused a number of spills
throughout the day.
Canadian Dara Howell won the gold in women s
slopestyle skiing, but her victory was tempered by
teammate Yuki Tsubota s crash on the slushy snow.
She was carried off the mountain on a stretcher
with a possible fractured jaw.
Russian Anna Mirtova wiped out during both of
her final runs in the event and said she s heading
for knee surgery.
On Day 5 at the Sochi Games, South Korea s Lee
Sang-hwa won the gold in women s 500-metre
speedskating, setting two Olympic records in the
process, and Darya Domracheva of Belarus won
gold in the women s ten-kilometre pursuit.
Howell finished with a score of 94.20, trouncing
the rest of the field. Devin Logan of the United
States took silver. Kim Lamarre earned bronze to
give the Canadians seven medals in four days of
snowboarding and freestyle skiing, including three
events in which they took two of the top three spots.
Hattestad took the early lead, avoided the crash
behind him and then held off Teodor Peterson of
Sweden for the gold. Peterson finished 1.2 seconds
behind for silver. Vesna Fabjan of Slovenia won the
bronze in the women s sprint. Pre-race favorites
Kikkan Randall of the US and Marit Bjoergen of
Norway were knocked out in qualifying heats.
Domracheva led most of the 10K pursuit race,
missing only the last target before finishing in 29
minutes, 30.7 seconds. Tora Berger of Norway took
silver, Teja Gregorin of Slovenia claimed the bronze.
Lee set an Olympic record of 37.28 seconds in
her second 500-meter race, beating the mark of
37.30 set by Catriona Le May Doan at the 2002 Salt
Lake City Olympics. Her combined time of 1 minute,
14.70 seconds also was an Olympic record, beating
Le May Doan s mark of 1:14.75. Olga Fatkulina of
Russia won the silver, and Margot Boer of the Nether-
lands got the bronze. (AP)
A giant leap for Vogt
...but also small step for women
Norway wins double
gold in cross-country
Steenkamp's mother to attend Pistorius trial
Germany's Carina Vogt reacts after her jump to win the gold during the women's normal
hill ski jumping final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, yesterday in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Links Archive February 11th 2014 February 13th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page