Rugby union still faces jersey challenge to make skill match

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The US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) will put forth a formal proposal to the International Ski Federation (FIS) next week for Lindsey Vonn to participate in a men’s World Cup downhill race next year.The bid would pitch Vonn, the most decorated skier in American history with 77 wins and 130 podiums, opposite men over the last weekend of November 2018 at Lake Louise, the lone Canadian stop on Rams Jerseythe Rams Authentic Jersey circuitCapitals Jersey where Capitals Authentic Jersey she’s notched 14 of her record 39 World Cup downhill wins.The USSA will make the proposal at the worldwide governing body’s pre-season meetings next week in Zurich. “Further details are still unknown, but this is certainly an anticipated topic that divides the FIS officials,” the governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.It’s not the first time Vonn has made the case to race alongside men. Five years ago, the governing body rejected a similar proposal citing rules barring mixed-gender races.FIS women’s race director Atle Skaardal expressed further hesitation this summer, saying it would be a “very difficult challenge” to organize. “It will be a very difficult challenge to find a reasonable way of doing this because one point that everyone is underestimating is that we need to have equal rights for everyone,” Skaardal said in a June statement. “So if the ladies are allowed to race with the men, then also the men need to be authorized to ski with the ladies, and I’m not sure this is a direction we want to go. I see it as a very difficult topic. … I’m confident that everyone will think this through.”Vonn, who turns 33 in October, said last year that she’d like to “beat some boys and then call it a day” during her final season before retiring from competitive skiing. “I know I’m not going to win, but I would like to at least have the opportunity to try,” Vonn told the Denver Post earlier this year. “I think I’ve won enough World Cups where I should have enough respect within the industry to be able to have that opportunity.”Vonn, currently in training for the Pyeongchang Olympics after suffering a fractured humerus in November, has said she plans to retire after the 2018-19 season. She is one of six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing: downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom as most injuries in youth rugby occur during “collision elements of the game.” They contend that rugby, along with ice hockey and American football, has the highest concussion rates and “under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 19), governments have a duty to protect children from risks of injury and to ensure the safety of children, which is why we are calling on chief medical officers to act now.” There is an argument that first exposing players to scrummaging and tackling after their formative years [img width=180,height=180][/img] is in itself a risk, but the safety issue offers the opportunity to place the greatest emphasis on skills at age-group levels. As the former England captain Will Carling said: “Instead of talking about banning tackling and scrums in rugby, talk about organising children in weight categories, not age; huge safety bonus.”Make rugby fun and breed more Fords, Toomuas and Smiths while giving players such as Roberts the chance to show they are more than big and hard to bring down.O’Driscoll would not comment on payments from the Formula One Group but when asked about it appeared open to the idea of compromise for the greater good. “If Formula One arrived at a model where they distributed revenue equally to all teams, we would be very satisfied with that result,” he said.Both expressed optimism that change was coming, with O’Driscoll in particular impressed by the sport’s new owners and their ability to bring about long-needed change. Indeed Chase Carey, the chief executive of the Formula One group, has noted that the disparity in spending “undermines the competitive balance of the sport”.Addressing and solving it will be no mean feat but if successful it could guarantee not only better competition but the very future of the sport.
Posted 29 Sep 2017

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