The case against weight discrimination

Roland Gaebler argues that the Olympic equipment for Rio 2016 is likely to require emaciated dwarfs for crew

Saturday April 28th 2012, Author: Roland Gaebler, Location: none selected

For their evaluation trials [of the women's skiff and the mixed multihull], ISAF used a Submission from the 470 class to set the target crew weights for the Mixed Multihull and Skiff women evaluations. As a result of this target weights for the evaluation trials were set at 130kg for Mixed Multihull and 120kg for the Skiff women.

With the loss of the Star and the Elliot 6, so seven of the ten Olympic Classes are now set to have an optimal team-weight below average. Globally, men have an average weight of around 79kg, while the average for women is 65kg. In the graphic below you can see, how this equates to the Olympic equipment due to feature in Rio.

Add to this the fact that Rio de Janeiro is a light wind venue giving ultra-lightweight crew an added advantage, then the majority of athletes have no chance to reach the lower weight limits and this makes it impossible to have the optimal weight for an Olympic sailing campaign.

Still two to four of the Olympic boats have yet to be selected (Mixed Multihull + Skiff Women) and also Kiteboarding is open in terms of its weights. So it’s not too late to change this and get Olympic sailing back in balance and away from discriminating against athletes above average weight.

The average weight for males swimmers is 80.4 ± 7.0kg. Freestyle sprinters have the highest weight – 84.3 ± 5.8kg, while freestyle distance swimmers have the lowest weight - 76.4 ± 6.6kg. This difference between the sexes is statistically significant: Male freestyle sprinters are around 20kg heavier than female freestyle sprinters, while the average weight of male swimmers is around 15kg higher than female swimmers.

Latest Comments

  • trogers 02/05/2012 - 17:53

    Olympic swimmers are some of the tallest athletes in the games....their weights aren't representative for a sport where height doesn't provide a speed advantage.

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