'I'm in pain': Athletes shattered during 'dark day' at Winter Olympics

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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Ski jumper Katharina Althaus (pictured left) filmed after her jump and (pictured right) Sara Takanashi upset after being disqualified at the Winter Olympics.
Ski jumper Katharina Althaus (pictured left) was disqualified for a suit violation at the Winter Olympics and so was Japan star Sara Takanashi (pictured right) in a 'dark day' for ski jumping. (Getty Images)

There was drama, confusion and anger during the mixed team jumping competition at the Winter Olympics after a number of athletes were left seething when they were disqualified for their ski outfits.

In what has been described as a 'dark day' for ski jumping, Slovenia won the gold medal despite a series of disqualifications hit a number of athletes and the favourites Germany during the competition.

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Ursa Bogataj and Nika Kriznar, who took gold and bronze in the women's individual event, helped Slovenia to gold alongside Peter Prevc and Timi Zajc.

Taking advantage of the chaos, the Russian Olympic Committee claimed the silver medal and Canada, rank outsiders, collected bronze.

Unfortunately, the drama surrounded favourites Germany who had athletes disqualified after officials deemed their suits had breached Olympic rules.

Austria, Japan and Norway also had athletes disqualified.

The complex rules link suits and skis to bodyweight in an attempt to reduce the advantage and athlete might get for being lighter.

Loose fitting suits are deemed to give jumpers an advantage in the air.

All five disqualifications were women.

The string of disqualifications left athletes and coaches confused and angry.

Katharina Althaus (pictured) jumps during Mixed Team Ski Jumping First Round.
Katharina Althaus (pictured) of Team Germany was disqualified for a suit violation during the Mixed Team Ski Jumping event. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Athletes rage over Winter Olympic disqualification decision

Germany, who have won four consecutive world championships in ski jumping, were knocked out of the gold medal contention when individual silver medalist Katharina Althaus was disqualified.

And Althaus let rip at the officials after she claimed it was the same suit she wore on Saturday's individual event.

Althaus, who burst into tears when she learned of her disqualification, also pointed out she had never been disqualified in her 11 year career.

"I have no words for the decisions that were made today," she wrote in a translated Instagram post.

"Our sport was damaged as a result. Athletes and their dreams were destroyed.

"I'm sorry but in 11 years I've NEVER been disqualified… I'm devastated and can't understand it."

Slovenia jump and celebrate after winning at the Winter Olympics at the Mixed Ski Jump event.
Slovenia won gold after a controversial day during the Mixed Team Ski Jumping at National Ski Jumping Centre on February 07, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Germany national team coach Stefan Horngacher was livid.

"For me it is a puppet theatre. The entire season the suits have been an issue," he said.

"I am unbelievably angry and I don't understand it. We had super jumps, all were super, you can only be disappointed with this."

One of the two Norwegians disqualified, Silje Opseth, was confused over the rulings.

"I am just shocked. I do not understand anything about what happened today," she said.

Norwegian teammate Anna Odine Stroem, also disqualified, alleged the system to judge their suits was a different method than normal.

"It was a bit strange and didn't conform to how it's been done in the past," she said.

"It is a bit the result of me being in quarantine and not eating properly the whole week."

Anna Odine Stroem (pictured) of Norway lands during the ski jumping mixed event.
Anna Odine Stroem (pictured) of Norway was also disqualified for a suit violation during the ski jumping mixed event. (Photo by Tom Weller/VOIGT/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Teammate Robert Johansson added some of the athletes were absolutely crushed.

"I don't know what to say about it. It feels very chaotic from start to finish ... one of the Japanese girls was crying, she was completely crushed," she added.

"When I got up there I heard there was three who were disqualified, Japan, Austria and Germany."

Norwegian ski jumping chief of sports Clas Brede Braathen said the drama had turned out to be a 'dark day' for the sport and was not a good look for the Winter Olympics.

"I am sorry on behalf of ski jumping. This is something we should have cleaned up in before the Olympics. The sport of ski jumping has experienced one of its darker days today," he said.

"I'm lost for words, really. This is very painful for the athletes. I'm in pain on behalf of our sport. We were going to introduce a new event. The girls were to get a new event in the Olympics, and that's how it ends. And why are only girls being disqualified?"

The mixed team event has been at the Winter Olympics since 1924, but women only joined in 2014.

The mixed team event has been a world championship regular since 2013, with Germany winning the last four editions.

They, Austria, Japan and Norway - the four teams to suffer DQs on Monday - have won all 15 available medals between them.

Regardless of the drama, the gold medal for Slovenia has topped off a brilliant week.

Peter Prevc celebrated his gold medal, which goes along with his individual silver and bronze in 2014.

"We tried not to think about the disqualifications but I think we still would have won so, yeah, it still feels great," Prevc said.

"There was a lot going on but I was just trying to just be in the zone of jumping."

with Reuters

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