Monday, August 11, 2008

Matilda Ekholm -- Are some National Olympic Committees against women?

Just read an interesting article on Sweden's National Olympic Committee didn't nominate Sweden's #1-ranked female table tennis player, Matilda Ekholm, to represent Sweden in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Matilda, 25 years old, was actually ranked top 100 in the world and "qualified for the Olympic singles against international opponents."

Why wasn't she chosen? Well, the article suggests that maybe a few country's National Olympic Committees are simply prejudiced against women. The following four women's respective National Olympic Committees refused to nominate these ping pong athletes, despite their having qualified for the Olympics: Nesrine Ben Kahia (Tunisia), Safa Saidani (Tunisia), Karen Li (New Zealand), and, of course, Matilda (Sweden).

This Olympics will be the second Olympics in a row in which Sweden will have no female table tennis representative. I have no clue what the Swedish Olympic Committee is thinking...I think they've made a huge mistake. Why not allow your country's best female ping pong player who is ranked top 100 in the world to compete in the Olympics in her prime age?

What do you guys think? Is this discrimination or is it a fair judgment of those women's odds of advancing in the table tennis competition? Is there more to the story than the ITTF article is letting on?? Let us know!