The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) announced at the virtual 2020 IBSF Congress that it has granted special exceptions for those returning to competition from maternity leave.
The IBSF Executive Committee set itself the goal to enhance female participation when elected in 2018.
The first step was completed with the acceptance of Women's Monobob into the Olympic program. The federation recently announced that the second step has now been completed. Athletes who miss a season due to maternity leave will be granted quota spots when coming back after one season. This quota spot will be linked to the single athlete's name and will be in addition to the quota spot(s) assigned to the National Federation.
The new rule will come into force for the next Olympic cycle, after the Olympic Winter Games 2022.
The IBSF President Ivo Ferriani said: “With this decision we pave the way for female athletes to come back to competition after maternity leave. They do not have to go through the whole qualification process but will get a spot in that series they had been qualified before sitting out for a season to give birth. It will give new opportunities to our female athletes”.
In 2007, World Skeleton champion Shelley Rudman had her daughter. Just three months after giving birth Rudman made her comeback to competitive racing in order to meet funding targets.
To read the IBSF’s statement please click here.