Ski jumping is a Nordic skiing sport that has been featured in the Olympics since 1924, but has origins that can be traced much farther back. (Nordic skiing requires equipment with toe of the ski boot fixed to a binding allowing heel to lift off the ski, and includes sport of cross-country and Telemark skiing) In 19th century Norway, the first ski jumping competitions were held, and on November 22, 1808 in Eidsberg, Norway, the first ski jump of 9.5 meters (31 ft) by Danish military war hero, Olaf Rye, was recorded. Much has changed since that day as evolving technique and equipment have allowed ski jumpers to achieve greater and greater distances. ‘Ski flying’, a popular competitive winter sport in Slovenia and Norway, is an offshoot of ski jumping with the added danger of larger hills and longer jump distances.
What’s it like to take-off from a steep hill and fly through the air with a pair of skis strapped to your feet? Jumping the K120, a short video filmed at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, will give you an up-close perspective on just how high, fast and really scary the large hill ski jump really is.
In competition, each ski jump is divided into four segments: inrun, take-off (jump), flight, and landing, and is judged on distance as well as style, inrun length, weather and wind conditions. Scores from each skier’s two competition jumps are combined to determine a winner. [Info: “How Does Scoring Work? by Kenneth J. Anderson, Ski Jumping USA] The current world record ski jump is 253.5 metres (832 ft), set by Austrian, Stefan Kraft, on March 18, 2017 at Vikersundbakken in Vikersund, Norway.
Even if you’ve never put on a pair of skis, you’ll want to watch these high flyers!
Temps are were in the high 80’s at the Utah Olympic Park ski jumps in Park City …so, of course, it was absolutely perfect for ski jumping!
Ski jump training and competitions take place in summer on hills equipped for non-winter jumping (as at Utah Olympic Park). The special in-run is made of grooved porcelain tracks with a trickle of water running through that mimics the icy, snow-packed tracks of winter. The landing hill is made of green plastic “grass” that’s sprayed with water to reduce friction with a jumper’s skis. Jumpers can slide down a summer in-run just as fast and get as long a distance as in winter jumping; however, summer heat is often a factor for the athletes.
If you missed the live stream broadcast of 2018 US National Ski Jumping Championships (July 28-29), there’s still time to watch video recordings of both the Normal and Large Hill competitions. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the media players below ↓
Did you miss the 2018 Brattleboro US Cup in February? Still time to watch the competition here via video recording. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the media player below ↓
If you missed the live stream broadcast of 2018 US Cup 5 Hills Ski Jump tournament on January 30, there’s still time to watch a video recording of the competition. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the media player below ↓
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Photo of ski jumper is courtesy of Flickr user, Vegar S. Hansen, CC BY 2.0