5 Olympic Ski Jumpers Disqualified from Mixed Team Event over Baggy Clothing

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 8, 2022

ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA - FEBRUARY 07: Katharina Althaus of Germany in action competes during the ski jumping mixed relay during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Ski Jumping Centre on February 7, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Tom Weller/VOIGT/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Tom Weller/VOIGT/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Olympic history is filled with examples of athletes trying to get an edge, but few could have predicted so much controversy at the 2022 Winter Olympics because of baggy clothing.

Five athletes were disqualified for the ski jumping mixed team competition in Beijing because of loose-fitting clothing, per Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports.

Not using the correct apparel could give competitors a significant advantage in ski jumping, especially if it catches the wind. Someone using a wingsuit would probably set world records if allowed.

The latest disqualifications were still unprecedented at this level, especially after the same outfits were already cleared a day earlier.

"The FIS [International Ski Federation] destroyed everything with this operation," German athlete Katharina Althaus said, per AFP. "I think they have destroyed women's ski jumping. I don't know what they're trying to do."

All five of the disqualified competitors were women, including Althaus. Germany, the reigning four-time world champions in this event, did not advance to the final round in part because of the disqualification.

Japan, Norway and Austria also had athletes disqualified during the competition. 

"I have been checked so many times in 11 years of ski jumping, and I have never been disqualified once; I know my suit was compliant," added Althaus.

This is her third Olympic Games and was looking to add to the silver medal won in Beijing in the women's normal hill event. She was seeking her first gold medal in the team competition, which was added to the schedule for the first time in 2022.

Slovenia earned the inaugural gold medal in the team event, with the Russian Olympic Committee earning silver and Canada getting bronze.