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Canadian skiers set to jump into history

Regardless of how they place in their competitions, three Canadian women named to the Canadian Olympic team on Sunday are destined to make history in Sochi.

In a press conference in Vancouver's Robson Square, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Ski Jumping Canada unveiled Canada’s ski jumping team, and for the first time in history the team destined to compete in the Olympics included women.

Atsuko Tanaka, Alexandra Pretorius and Taylor Henrich will be the first women to represent Canada in the new Olympic competition. Also named to the team to compete for the men were Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes, Dusty Korek, Trevor Morrice, and Matthew Rowley.

The fight to include women's ski jumping prior to Vancouver went to the courts only to have the Supreme Court of Canada rule against the athletes' appeal in 2009.

After a lengthy legal battle and years of waiting, women’s ski jumping was added to the Winter games in 2011.

“In 2010 it was definitely a bummer that we couldn’t get in,” Tanaka said, who is fresh off a personal best fourth place World Cup finish in Japan last month. “I’m just really excited to be a part of history and being able to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics.”

“I have lost count of how many jumps I have done leading up to this point,” she said. "But every jump got me one step closer to my goal and that was to make the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team.”

The women's ski jumping competition begins Feb. 11 at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center. The men's qualification round begins Feb. 8.

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