Tag Archive | "Nita Englund"

Top Women Ski Jumpers Meet and Honor 10-Year-Old YouTube Sensation

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March 23, 2012 (Park City, UT) – Ten-year-old Zia Terry is a star on YouTube simply because she showed the world her courage by soaring off a 40-meter ski jump. On Thursday, she got to meet some of her biggest fans – five members of the No. 1-ranked U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team.

The team and coaches surprised Zia at Utah Olympic Park where they named her an “Honorary Junior Team Member” and gave her a Women’s Ski Jumping USA certificate, team jacket, signed competition bib, Ready To Fly DVD, and signed posters.

“This is so cool. I love this. I love ski jumping,” said Zia after meeting the team.

Zia’s headcam video showing herself gaining the courage and determination to ski jump the 40-meter hill for the first time went viral on YouTube and has garnered 1.3 million views. Many have commented on the video and didn’t believe that girls could ski jump. Zia proved them wrong, and she now has the backing of the best women ski jumpers in the world.

“We just want to thank Zia for bringing worldwide attention to girls who ski jump,” said Jessica Jerome, an eight-time national champion and the ninth-ranked ski jumper in the world. “She has inspired us and obviously her video has touched so many people around the world.”

Zia told the crowd and media at Thursday’s event that she loves flight and especially ski jumping “because you can fly in the air without an engine.” The Park City fourth-grader also has aspirations to be an Olympian some day as either a ski jumper or ski racer – to which 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van said, “Ski jumping! That’s your sport.”

After a 10-year battle, women will finally be allowed to ski jump beginning in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Ski jumping had been the only discipline in the Winter Games that did not have an event for women. The ski jumpers’ story is told in the recently released feature film documentary, “Ready To Fly.”

Zia also got a little advice from 17-year-old Sarah Hendrickson, who just finished the World Cup season by capturing the overall title and bringing home the coveted crystal globe. “Keep working on ski jumping – it’s awesome. I was 13 years old when I tried the 90-meter jump. You can do it too – you’re just three years away,” Hendrickson said.

The presentation ended with a group hug with Zia in the middle surrounded by her mentors – and new “teammates”.

The Visa Women’s Ski Jumping team includes No. 1-ranked Sarah Hendrickson, 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van, 8-time U.S. National Champion Jessica Jerome, Abby Hughes, Alissa Johnson, Nita Englund, Nina Lussi and Emilee Anderson. The team coaches are Alan Alborn and Paolo Bernardi.

Watch Zia’s YouTube Video:

Watch CNN’s Jeanne Moos’ story on Zia’s video and Lindsey Van HERE.

Women’s Ski Jumping USA Nominates 8 Athletes to Visa Team

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October 25, 2011 – Women’s Ski Jumping USA has nominated eight of the top women athletes in the nation to represent the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team in one of the most historic seasons ever for the sport. Jessica Jerome, Lindsey Van, Sarah Hendrickson, Alissa Johnson and Abby Hughes (all of Park City, UT) will make up the Visa Team. Nita Englund (Florence, WI), Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) and Emilee Anderson (Eau Claire, WI) will represent the Visa Development Team.

Women’s ski jumping makes its debut on the International Ski Federation World Cup circuit this winter, which means better ski jumping venues and more international support and broadcast time for the events. Also, the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, AUT, in January will be the first International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event to include women’s ski jumping on the program.

Alan Alborn, WSJ-USA head coach, said team members have worked hard this summer in preparation for the season and believes they have gained strength not only physically and technically, but mentally as well.

“The World Cup season will push them to their limits and I believe that we have the strongest team in the world,” Alborn said.

To make the Visa Team, the jumpers had to meet criteria including performance benchmarks on last year’s Continental Cup. Development team nominations are per the coaches’ discretion and the athletes have to be junior-level status.

“The World Cup is something bigger compared to the Continental Cup and it will present a new challenge even for the most experienced athletes,” said WSJ-USA International Coach Paolo Bernardi, who will be traveling with the Visa Team. “I want to make that challenge and the new atmosphere a plus for their performance.”

There will be 14 competitions on the women’s World Cup (WC) circuit, including stops in Germany, Italy, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Japan. The WC opener is Dec. 3 in Lillehammer, NOR and the season ends March 9, 2012, in Oslo, NOR on the Midstubakken hill, the same venue that hosted the 2011 World Ski Jumping Championships.

Also this year, Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van have met U.S. Ski Team criteria to receive some support and access to elite athlete resources offered through the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association in addition to the primary support they receive from WSJ-USA.

2012 Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team Nomination

Team A
– Jessica Jerome, Park City, UT
– Lindsey Van, Park City, UT

Team B
– Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT

Team C
– Abby Hughes, Park City, UT
– Alissa Johnson, Park City, UT

Development Team
– Nita Englund, Park City, UT
– Nina Lussi, Lake Placid, NY,
– Emilee Anderson, Eau Claire, WI

Fifteen-year-old Emilee Anderson, of Eau Clair, WI, will represent the U.S. and the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event held under the authority of the International Olympic Committee that will take place every four years, consistent with the current format of the Olympic Winter Games. The Innsbruck Games will run from Jan. 13-22, with an expected 1,057 athletes between the ages of 14-18 from more than 80 countries participating.

Anderson won her spot on the team through a qualifying competition at the Flaming Leaves Festival ski jumping competition in Lake Placid, NY, in October.

Anderson started ski jumping when she was 5, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Elisabeth, a former jumper who now attends Westminster College in Salt Lake City. “My sister stuck with it and did so good and I wanted to be able to do that,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s longest jump so far of her young career is 86.5 meters on a K90 jump. While she travels many weekends for competitions, she’s never been to Europe to compete.

“It’s a really big honor for me (to go to the Youth Games),” she said. “It’s one of my goals and a dream come true.”

Julie Anderson, Emilee’s mother, said she’s excited for her daughter to be part of something so historic. “This is so important because women’s ski jumping is finally a legitimized Olympic event now and Emilee has a big responsibility to represent that well.”

According to the IOC, the Youth Olympic Games aim to inspire youth around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect. It will create a lasting sport, culture and education legacy for youth from around the world, as well as enhance and elevate the sporting culture locally and regionally.

“I’ve watched her come up for the past two years and Emilee has gained confidence and increased her technique on the hill,” said WSJ-USA Head Coach Alan Alborn. “We’re excited for her to be part of this team.”

France’s Mattel Wins Jr. Women’s Ski Jumping Gold – USA’s Hendrickson 18th

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January 27, 2011 (Otepaa, Estonia) – Coline Mattel brought home the gold for France at the Junior World Championships in Otepää on Thursday after placing second last year and third the year before. Leading after the first round Mattel was in a tight race with Spela Rogelj (SLO) for the top spot besting her by a slim margin of 3.5 points followed by Japan’s Yuki Ito only 5.5 points back.

It was Rogelj’s first podium at a COC or World Championship event. Ito had the longest jump of the day at 99m for a career-best result.

“I am very happy, because I jumped well and even if I was nervous I knew that a lot of people were expecting me to win, because of the last year and year before that,” said Mattel in a FIS interview post-race. “The competition was difficult because of the wind. I think I was very nervous and maybe I didn’t jump as well as I am capable of. It was nice competition because everyone was fighting for the win.”

Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) was the top U.S. finisher in 18th Hendrickson’s score of 205.0 with jumps of 86.5 and 84.1 meters was followed up by fellow Americans Nita Englund (Iron Mountain, MI) in 18th, Avery Ardovino (Park City, UT) in 37th and Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY) in 38th.

Top Canadians were Taylor Henrich (Altius Nordic Ski Club) in 25th with a score of 188.5 followed by Charlotte Mitchel (Altius Nordic Ski Club) in 29th with 175.5.

The FIS World Junior Ski Jumping Championship men’s HS 100 is scheduled for Friday.

Complete results HERE.


1. Coline Mattel (FRA) (96.5, 98.5) 257.5
2. Spela Rogelj (SLO)  (96.5, 96.5) 254.0
3. Yuki Ito (JPN) (93.0, 99.0) 252.0

18. Sarah Hendrickson (USA) (86.5, 84.5) 205.0
25. Taylor Henrich (CAN) (81.5. 84.5) 188.5
28. Nita Englund  (USA)  (83.5, 76.5) 178.0
29. Charlotte Mitchell (CAN) (79.5, 80.0) 175.5
37. Avery Ardovino  (USA) (74.5) 76.5
38. Nina Lussi  (USA) (73.5) 75.0