Sexual Discrimination in Olympic Speed Skating


Eradicating old and unfair eligibility procedures and phrases that unjustly distinguish male’s participant capabilities from female’s capabilities contribute to attaining sexual equality during skating. The social construct that people should not be given prevalence by being members of the pampered gender needs to be applied in sports (Sarah, 2011). Discarding gender variations is not an answer to sexual bias in the Olympic Association. Abolishing any policy that does not promote a fair system for male and female might address equality issues in sports. Development can be initiated through eradicating laws in charters and procedural documents that allow different prerequisites and/or anticipations of male and female participants taking part in similar games (Morgan, 2007). The paper describes major adjustments that need to be implemented if at all International Olympic Committee (IOC) is serious in eradicating gender discrimination during Olympic speed skating. Also, it describes the challenges, barriers, and gains of effecting these changes and whether or not these adjustments would demean the sport.

Proposed Changes/Recommendations

Inequitable Provisioning

A discriminatory provisioning of events during one of the most honored and adored gaming celebration globally is not without adverse effects. Olympics impact certain individual’s assumptions regarding value of women, and the planning of speed skating is likely to generate and/or magnify sex variations. An impact of social imbalance is females’ internalization of low-grade condition, which makes it even harder to realize when inequalities are happening and to revoke the matching unfairness. For example, providing shorter skating distances for females continues the thinking that a woman is less strong and therefore less superior to males. Such statements frequently result to inferiority complex and value verdicts regarding women athletes (Morgan, 2007).

The IOC should include females’ participation in an event that places more emphasis on perseverance, for instance the 10,000 m marathon and 20,000 m events whereby only males participate at the global level. Also, IOC should establish criteria for accommodating universal and popular events for consideration on the Olympic program; alternatively, the committee could choose to change the prerequisites for accommodation (Chappelet & Brenda, 2008).

Sex-exclusive phrases

Various charters comprise sex-offensive phrases together with sex-based regulations. Sex-exclusive phrases involve language and terms that unfairly distinguish the two genders. The utilization of misleading phrases in charters and conventions comprises applying male terms like ‘he’ and ‘man-kind’ in referring to both sexes, instead of using ‘he/she’ or ‘human being’ (Sarah, 2011). Masculine and prejudice phrases are challenging since they can intimidate females and regard a woman athlete as ‘other’ intruding in a masculine area (Morgan, 2007).

Other discriminating phrases in speed skating include utilizing sex markers while distinguishing females’ participants and competitions but ignoring similar tags for males’ participants. It is common hearing words like ‘Olympics’ and ‘females’ Olympics’ when deliberating males’ and females’ Olympics speed-skating, in that order. The IOC should eliminate all forms of unfairly sex-exclusive and discriminative phrases from its charters and sporting pamphlets (Sarah, 2011).

Challenges/Barriers and Benefits

Basically, changes to counter inequitable provisions and language biasness are likely to face many challenges and barriers. Firstly, allowing equitable provisions for men and women Olympic speed-skating events require major changes in sporting rulebooks and/or practicing manuals. Secondly, an alteration in phrase occurs slowly since differences made by people could take time in order to agree and initiate blanket changes, and also IOC should avoid assuming the ‘layman’ way where a phrase can imply what the people utilizing it defines at the moment (Chappelet & Brenda, 2008).

Effective implementation of these changes would go a long way towards minimizing cases of sexual discrimination in Olympics by locking out old policies that foster unjust and patriarchal perspectives when referring to women athletes as illustrated in Morgan (2007).


Like any other justice system, struggling to attain the desired changes recommended will be challenging. But as an international sport that draws extensive interest globally, the IOC must strive to set up an excellent system that accommodates both genders.


  1. Chappelet, J., & Brenda, K. (2008). The International Olympic Committee and the Olympic System: The Governance of World Sport. London: Routledge.
  2. Morgan, W. J. (2007). Ethics in sport (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  3. Sarah, T. (2011). Rules and reform: Eligibility, gender differences, and the Olympic games. Sport in Society, 14(3), 386-398.

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