Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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According to the Swedish stars’ demands – the issue will be raised at the Fis meeting

The issue of ladies and gentlemen running the same competition distances has been on the agenda before.

But when the riders were offered to drive the same distance during the Swedish Cup in Falun this weekend, the discussion picked up speed again and the stars of the Swedish women’s national team reacted. Now they demand the same distances as the men at the World Cup, the Olympics and in the World Cup.

– It is very strange that the boys go twice as far as us in, for example, skiathlon. It is almost a bit offensive, said Frida Karlsson.

Linn Svahn compared cross-country skiing with football, where ladies and gentlemen play equal length matches.

– It is similar in most sports. I see no reason why it should not be the same in cross-country skiing. It is a conservative tradition that we should drive shorter than the boys.

SVT Sports expert Anders Blomquist is in the same line as the riders and has raised the issue several times during SVT’s broadcasts.

The question can be raised at the Fis meeting

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– It is very surprising that we have arrived by 2021 and that such issues are discussed, in fact. For me it is obvious, I have had a hard time understanding why you do not compete as far. They train just as much and are just as strong.

– The International Ski Federation (Fis) is a tradition-laden and rather conservative federation. It was far from the last union to allow women to participate on equal terms with men. It is one thing, the other is that the girls have not pushed this issue as hard themselves.

But the question will now be raised, says Sweden’s national team manager Anders Byström.

– We have talked about this during the winter, I think it will be an issue at the Fis meeting. Now Vegard Ulvang (chairman of Fi’s cross-country skiing committee) has seen and read this as well, Byström tells SVT Sport.

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It is at the turn of the month May-June that Fi’s various committees hold a general meeting – that is when the matter can be discussed, Byström says and says that it is an issue that Sweden can pursue.

– We can do that, but Fis will probably do it themselves. But this is an issue we are pursuing, this is a wish of many nations.

CLIP: Maja Dahlqvist: “A step towards more gender equality” (March 26, 2021)

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Maja Dahlqvist says what she thinks about men and women competing the same distance at the Volkswagen Cup in Falun. Photo: Hannes Forssell / SVT

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