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Skispringerin Selina Freitag Deutschland
Selina Freitag in action at the World Cup event in Ramsau, AustriaImage: Wolfgang Grebien/Gepa/imago images

Four Hills tournament: Female jumper Freitag demands parity

Thomas Klein
December 29, 2021

Germans and Austrians go wild for the ski-jumping classic, which runs from December 29 to January 6. But there is still no women's equivalent.

https://p.dw.com/p/44wuw

For the 70th time, ski jumpers are once again plunging down the hills in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck and Bischofshofen.

Fans are not allowed at the prestigious ski-jumping tournament in Germany and Austria due to coronavirus, but female competitors are also missing with no concept yet presented for a women's version.

Organizers say they are keen to have a women's tournament, as early as next season if possible, but German female jumper Selina Freitag has demanded exactly the same set-up as the men.

"I also want to jump down there one day," the 20-year-old said in an interview with DW.

"The same rules, the same conditions, the same hill sizes. That's our goal. We're fighting and working hard so that eventually we'll be just as good or maybe better."

Women earn a third less

She knows what she's talking about. Her brother Richard is one of Germany's best male ski jumpers.

"We often celebrated New Year's Eve here in Garmisch because of the Four Hills Tournament. I was always down at the finish as a girl."

Selina Freitag
Selina, 20, is already in her fourth World Cup seasonImage: sampics Photographie/Stefan Matzke/picture alliance

Women's ski jumping has been growing and will feature at the Winter Olympics for a third time in Beijing in February.

This season there is even a women's World Cup event over New Year — but not in Germany's Garmisch. Instead the women are in Ljubno in Slovenia.

The differences are still huge - especially when you look at the prize money. The women's World Cup pays out only a third of the pot for the men.

Governing body the FIS is distributing around  €67,000 per individual competition to the top 30 male ski jumpers in the 2021/22 World Cup season.

For the women, only €24,000 per event are in the pot. And in contrast to the men, prize money is only paid out among the top 20.

A Four Hills tournament in Germany and Austria for women may help to reduce the pay gap. But Freitag is wary of getting her hopes up for next year.

"There has always been a lot said, but still too little done," she said.

This story was originally written in German.

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