Women ski jumpers prepare for World Cup

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Women ski jumpers prepare for World Cup

GENEVA - The inaugural World Cup season in women’s ski jumping begins in Norway on Saturday on the Lillehammer hill used by the men at the 1994 Olympics.

About 50 ski jumpers from 15 countries are expected to compete after the International Ski Federation finally persuaded the Olympic movement that the sport had the depth and quality required to become part of the Winter Games in 2014.

“From my experience, 50 women would be a nice number,’’ Chika Yoshida, the FIS coordinator for women’s ski jumping, told the Associated Press.

“If we have a chance to show off our sport, women’s ski jumping will take off.’’

The FIS announced the first women’s World Cup calendar last April, one week after the International Olympic Committee approved the sport for the 2014 Sochi Games.

The IOC had twice rejected women’s ski jumping for the 2010 Vancouver program, arguing that it lacked elite competition.

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