First no snow, now 2010 ski team has new hurdle
In Whistler, the large ski jump is bare. The normal jump is covered mostly by man-made snow, and not even enough of it for any of the national teams to train.
Both the men's and women's teams hoped to spend most of December practicing their sport at the Olympic venue.
But instead, they're playing soccer -- a way of keeping in shape, without snow.
There's only so much you can do to keep busy but not burn out as well," says Canadian women's ski jump coach Gregor Linsig.
While they wait for temperatures to drop and flakes to fall, it's boys versus girls on the pitch. But the women's team, famous for their public struggle to have their event added to the Olympic roster, is now one player down.
Former Canadian ski jumper Zoya Lynch has taken herself out of the game.
"I've been ski jumping since I was eight years old," says Lynch. "It's all I know, all I've ever been doing. It was really hard; the past few years have been really hard."
Back in October, the 17-year-old made headlines when she became the first active Canadian ski jumper to join other international athletes in their lawsuit against the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee. The jumpers are alleging discrimination on the part of Vanoc and demanding a women's event be added to the 2010 Games.
"I'm not giving up on women's ski jumping," says Lynch.
She insists she'll still battle on behalf of other women in court, but that the public struggle to compete against them took the joy out of her sport.
"We would train every day to be elite athletes and to compete against the best in he world but being a woman ski jumper, there's a whole other aspect and that's fighting against the biggest sport organization in the world," she says.
And so she now waits for her day in court, while the three remaining women on Canada's ski jump team, wait for snow.
And the ski jumpers are not the only ones disappointed by a lack of snow at Whistler Olympic park. Junior level races that were to be held for both biathlon and cross country this weekend have been cancelled.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan