Tag Archive | "ski jumping"

TV Coverage of FIS Events Increases in 2012/13 Season

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June 27, 2013 – The television coverage report from the 2012/13 season provided by data provider Repucom summarises the detailed viewing figures from the FIS World Cup series. It features highlights such as the overall total broadcasting time estimated at 6’593 hours across the annually measured countries with the total cumulated TV audience for the seven FIS World Cup series in the Olympic disciplines at approximately 7’927 million television viewers.

In terms of both broadcasting time and audience, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup accounted for the highest volume with 3’221 hours and a total audience of 2’591 million. As a consequence of a season including the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming fewer World Cup events have taken place compared to the 2011/2012 season and therefore there is a small decrease of broadcasting time and cumulated audience. Compared to the 2010/2011 season which also included FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER), media impact remained stable, despite less cumulated audience, but compensated by more broadcasting time. In Alpine Skiing, five countries (AUT, GER, ITA, SWE, SUI) and the Pan-European coverage by Eurosport generate more than 81% of the media impact (a combination of broadcasting time and audience), as in the previous season.

The respective figures for the men’s FIS Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann are 1’090 hours of broadcasting time and 2’315 million audience and for the FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Viessmann, 1’135 of broadcasting time and 1’865 audience. Compared to the World Championship season in 2010/11, in particular the broadcasting figures for Cross-Country Skiing, have seen a large rise of close to 25%.

Overall, Ski Jumping remains the discipline with the highest media impact of all FIS disciplines with close to 40% of broadcasting time generated by live coverage.This figure will be further optimised by the introduction of fixed starting times for the competitions during the next World Cup season. Meanwhile, the ladies’ FIS Ski Jumping World Cup saw a substantial 30% increase in media impact in only its second season.

Moreover, it should be noted that seasonal highlights like the Tour de Ski in Cross-Country Skiing and the Four-Hills-Tournament in Ski Jumping each generate one third of the total media impact in these disciplines showing the attractiveness of these formats.

FIS Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships

Based on the viewing figures published by the European Broadcasting Union, the TV and marketing rights holder of the FIS World Ski Championships in the Alpine and Nordic events 2013, they were seen by almost 1.1 billion people worldwide. While some 632 million cumulative viewers watched the 855 hours of coverage (live, delayed, news or highlights) from the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2013 in Schladming (AUT), the total coverage of more than 714 hours from the Nordic events in Val di Fiemme (ITA) was enjoyed by more than 444 million global TV viewers.

Four US Ski Jumpers Begin Training in Europe

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June 24, 2013 (Park City, UT) – In a sure sign of the coming 2014 Olympic Winter Games season, members of the US National ski jumping team have arrived in Europe to begin their first international preparation period.

After leaving the US Sunday, the team comprised of Peter Frenette, Anders Johnson, Nick Alexander and Nick Fairall, will spend two weeks in Europe at the ski jumps of Stams, AUT and Kranj, SLO, they will be accompanied by USA Head Jumping Coach Clint Jones.

In an interview today Coach Jones told the USASJ News Bureau the camp was part of a very important season build up, noting…”We will be spending a lot of team with our new European-based coach Bine Norcic, which will be very exciting and we will be dealing with a host of issues like organizing rental vans for the season, training plans and locations, and gathering all the equipment from skis, to suits to bindings. We will be looking to test a lot of new equipment during the summer, and we will be looking to get some solid training with the many European teams who will also be in the area.”

Jones also stressed the importance of the US team to have close contact with the Europeans early in the summer, “so that they know exactly how high the level of competition is going into the summer training phase. This will help provide great motivation for our team, not only for the four athletes that are with us in Europe, but also those that they will be training with when they return.”

Ski Jumping Season Review with FIS Race Director Walter Hofer

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May 02, 2013 – FIS Ski Jumping Race Director Walter Hofer took some time to share his reflections on the past competitive season. Overall, Hofer is pleased with the 2012/13 season and offers some constructive feedback to making next year’s competitions even better.

Looking back, what is your overall evaluation of the past 2012/13 season?
Walter Hofer: First of all it was one of the most successful World Cup seasons ever. It was mainly based on the excellent organisation by our various organisers and overall good external conditions. Only one competition day had to be cancelled due to strong winds.

What were your personal highlights?
WH: From a sporting point of view, it was great to see that the restrictions with regard to jumping suits worked out extremely well. We never had so many close and exciting finals in any of the events. Many more athletes and nations were able to gain podium places compared to the years before. The fluctuation among the winners is a very positive sign with Austria’s Gregor Schlierenzauer once again showing an outstanding performance. Especially the number of possible winners in team events has increased.

On the road to the next season …
WH: Our season analysis has detected the need to better communicate the information to spectators especially with regard to the evaluation of the individual performance of the jumps. In this respect, we are going to completely review the single interval of an athlete´s run down in order to make the calculation of the final score more transparent and more easily understandable to the audience. The upcoming FIS Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix series should give us the right tool to test out these details.

USA’s Hendrickson Third in Sapporo as Austria’s Seifriedsberger Wins First Ski Jumping WCup

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February 04, 2013 (Sapporo, Japan) – Park City’s Sarah Hendrickson was 3rd and 7th in a pair of tough and windy competitions in Sapporo this weekend, boosting her to second place overall on the World Cup.

Hours before Sunday’s event, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rattled the northern Japanese island of Hakkaido, the epicenter of which was about 120 miles east of Sapporo. There were no reports of damage, though it made for an interesting start to Sunday’s competition.

Hendrickson endured multiple gate change delays to finish on the podium in 3rd place with jumps of 93.5 and 87.5 meters. U.S. teammates Lindsey Van clinched 8th with jumps of 91 and 87 meters, Jessica Jerome was a strong 15th with jumps of 87 and 90.5 meters, and Abby Hughes was 29th with jumps of 80 and 78 meters. Austria’s Jacqueline Seifriedsberger claimed her first World Cup victory and Norway’s Anette Sagen had a huge leap of 99 meters in her second round to take 2nd.

“It was typical weather for this area and made the comp very difficult,” said Van. “You never know what kind of wind you are going to get, so it is like a lotto game. I enjoy the randomness most of the time, though. It is an outdoor sport and is always fun.”

Saturday’s event ended after the first round of jumping due to high and irregular winds, leaving Hendrickson in 7th, Jerome in 10th, Van 28th and Hughes 34th. France’s Coline Mattel was 1st over Seifriedsberger and Sagen.

Home country favorite and current World Cup leader Sara Takanashi, 16, finished 12th on Saturday and 5th on Sunday.

World Cup competition continues Feb. 9-10 in Zao, Japan.

Results at www.fisskijumping.com

Seventh for USA’s Fletcher Duo in Nordic Combined Chaux-Neuve WCup

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January 14, 2013 (Chaux-Neuve, France) – Brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) paired up to finish seventh in a FIS Nordic Combined World Cup team sprint in Chaux-Neuve. The brothers jumped to 13th and slowly moved up through the pack for the top 10 finish. The World Cup now heads to Seefeld, Austria for a pair of events next weekend.

Germany’s Eric Frenzel and Tino Edelmann won the contest by 1.4 seconds over their closest rivals, Team Norway. The hometown favorite French team was third.

Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) and Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) were 13th.

Bryan Fletcher
Today was a fun day. Personally I was a little disappointed with my jumping today, however I was pumped with Taylor’s performance both on the jump hill and in the cross country. I have not felt that great in cross country throughout the weekend however today I was able to hang tough and keep us moving up throughout the second half of the race. I am really proud of Taylor and his performance lately. He is really starting to step it up and he is without a doubt one of the strongest guys on the cross country course day in and day out.

Personally it’s very fun to race with my brother and I hope to do it more often. This is the second time this season we have been a team together and both times I think we have surprised ourselves with what we are capable of even if we don’t have a perfect day.

Taylor Fletcher
It was a pretty decent day for both of us. I had a pretty solid jump and a pretty good race as well. Bryan had a great race and hung though when the speed was turned up. We moved up about as far as we really could! The top jumpers really showed themselves today which put some time between packs. Racing with Bryan is a lot of fun. We keep improving with each race and hope to get a podium before the end of the year.

Full results HERE.

USA’s Johnson Jumps to Qualify for the Big Show at Innsbruck’s Four Hills Tournee

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January 03, 2013 (Innsbruck, Austria) – Park City, Utah’s Anders Johnson has made it into the Big Show for tomorrow qualifying 47th with a jump of 112.5 meters on the famed Olympic ski jumps at the Bergisel Hill in this town in the Tirol region of Austria. The top fifty ski jumpers qualify, in this, the 61st edition of the Four Hills Tournee.

Johnson was pleased with his showing..”I feel great, I’ve been close so far, but this is like getting a monkey off my back. It’s good. I felt my quali jump was pretty good, and got some good lift and while my jump wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, it was ok…I’ve still got things to work on for tomorrow here in Innsbruck.”

Regarding the final jump, the two time US Olympian said… “The hardest part for me is the qualifying, I’m still an underdog, but–who knows–a little bit of luck can go a long way in this sport.”

Pete Frenette (Saranac Lake, NY) was close to qualifying again today with a jump of 109.5 meters, which placed him in 53rd, while Canada’s Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes (Calgary) had a 110.5 meter jump and was 55th. The 21-year-old Canadian competes for the Altius Nordic Ski Club in Calgary.

Both Gregor Schlierenzauer (AUT), who had a jump of 123.5 m, and the Four Hills overall leader Norwegian Anders Jacobsen who leapt to a jump of 125.5 m today were pre-qualified.

In the finals Johnson will be paired with Polish star, 21 year-old, Maciej Kot of Zakopane, in the knock out format. The Polish team was dominant in today’s qualification, with both Kot and Kamil Stoch sharing the win with 125 m jumps.

Steamboat Springs native, USA Coach Clint Jones was also pleased with Johnson’s performance, saying… “Overall Anders jumps were close again, like the other guys– but even in his last jump his take off move wasn’t as good as his earlier jumps but he did execute what we have been talking about. He was more patient with his hips and in keeping his skis under him so he was able to kind of build a little longer over the knoll, if he can do that in the finals, it’s easily another five meters pretty quickly. Anders qualification should actually take some pressure off him, which should be good. But the goal is still to focus on the technique side of things that we have been working on. Then the results will take care of themselves.”

Hat Trick in Soldier Hollow for USA’s Lodwick on Nordic Combined Continental Cup Circuit

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December 17, 2012 (Soldier Hollow, UT) – Olympic medalist and world champion Todd Lodwick picked up a hat trick, winning his third straight FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow. The victories earned him a trip back to the FIS World Cup and build confidence for him in an important World Championship season. Lodwick jumped to fourth and quickly caught the field in cross country winning by 37.4 seconds over Sepp Schneider of Austria. Nicolas Martin of France was third. With low snow conditions early season, the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow came together to produce an outstanding series of competitions that are vital for athletes qualifying for the World Cup. Lodwick will rejoin the World Cup tour in early January in Schonach, Germany.

Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) jumped to fourth with a 115.5 meter ride, then quickly caught the field to win his third straight FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow.

Sepp Schneider of Austria was second, 37.4 seconds back, with Nicolas Martin of France third, with the two battling back and forth on the final lap.

Brett Denney (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 14th, moving up from 48th after the jump with the second fastest cross country time.

Staff and volunteers at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow did an amazing job in a low snow December to produce three world class competitions.

The Continental Cup is a vital steppingstone for athletes to the World Cup. Lodwick, who suffered from asthma issues last season, used the weekend of racing to gain his spot back on the World Cup.

Todd Lodwick, winner:
“There was a lot of pressure coming into this weekend to earn my spot back on the World Cup.”

“Prior to this week I had been struggling with my jumping so I went back old school with some old skis and found my groove again.”

“Today I just went out easy and tried to not stress myself too much. I felt I could control the race from the start – a lot different from the first day when I was a minute back. Today I wasn’t feeling my best but I was able to control the race.”

“I always hold myself to a high standard. When I’m not competing at the highest level I’m very frustrated.”

“I don’t have a monkey on my back any more. I had to perform – this was my ticket back to the World Cup and the rest of my season. To start it off with a victory, to follow it up with another and then today with the hat trick I couldn’t ask for a better weekend. Teammates are there to push everyone, including myself, and a great wax technician and the whole team came together and we earned a spot on the World Cup – not must myself but the whole team.”

Sepp Schneider, Austria, second place:
“It was a hard race. At the end I was still able to push when the French skier was coming towards me. I was second in the jump but Todd (Lodwick) caught me on the first lap. He’s a really good skier.”

Nicolas Martin, France, third place:
“It was a good race for me. I had a good jump and started slowly in the race but came back towards the end. I was second on the last hill but the Austrian caught me on the downhill.”

Full results HERE.

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FIS News – YOG 2016, Falun Mascot Contest, Fiemme Ski Exhibition, FIS Council, Ski Jumping in Romania

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November 07, 2012 – Here is the latest news from FIS, including an update on the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, announcement of a mascot contest for the Falun 2015 World Championships, a skiing history exhibition in Val di Fiemme, decisions from the recent FIS Council Meeting in Oberhofen, Switzerland, and a progress update about ski jumping in Romania.

Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games off to a flying start

The first visit of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination for the second Winter Youth Olympic Games wrapped up on 26th October 2012 in Lillehammer (NOR).

Chaired by IOC member Angela Ruggiero, the Commission was impressed with the early progress made by the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee since the city won the bid in December 2011 and the strong government and National Olympic Committee support pledged from the outset.

The shared vision of the three parties aims to engage as many young people as possible locally and abroad in the Games. It will also act as a catalyst for change in the development of youth sport nationwide before, during and long after the Games conclude.

During the meeting, the Coordination Commission visited all the venues that will be used to host the seven sports that currently make up the YOG Programme.

The majority of these venues were built for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, thereby extending the legacies of those Games. One of the few venues to be built from scratch for the 2016 YOG will be the Youth Olympic Village, which will house the athletes and be the site of all the Culture and Education Programme activities.

Commission chair Ruggerio concluded: “We have full belief in Lillehammer to not only deliver a successful Games, but also leave a legacy for youth sport development long after the Games have terminated.”

Falun 2015 has launched mascot competition

How should the official mascot of the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun look like? The Swedish Organisers have recently rolled out a mascot competition inviting people from all age groups to design the official Falun 2015 mascot.

“The purpose of the mascot competition, apart from creating a buzz about the Championships, is to gather ideas from the general public to be able to create a popular symbol for Falun and the World Championships. The mascot has to work in a wide variety of settings – from printed materials to films and the homepage as well as cheerleading the crowds in the stadium”, said Kent Lövgren, Marketing Director of the 2015 Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun.

Anybody who is interested can enter his/her very best ideas by uploading a photograph or scan including a mascot name to www.beyondskiing2015.com/maskot. The competition will remain open until 15th December 2012.

During the autumn, the general public will be able to vote for the best of the approved proposals shown on the homepage. After that, a jury will be taking on the job of selecting the final mascot. The new mascot will then be introduced during the summer and autumn of 2013 and in 2014, in conjunction with the World Cup competitions that will also serve as World Championship test events.

It’s all about Skiing – “Ski History” exhibition officially opened in Val di Fiemme

In conjunction with the Forum Nordicum held in Val di Fiemme (ITA) on 16th October 2012, a “Ski Past” exhibition has officially been inaugurated in the presence of 100 participants at Le Gallerie space in Trento.

During the opening ceremony FIS President Gian Franco Kasper underlined the significance of “keeping memories alive and strong”.

Mountain equipment, historical objects and various items related to sport and winter activities such as boots, skis, poles and clothing are telling the story that has characterized the region of Trento over the past century. High-tech video installations, pictures, medals and trophies as well as a detailed time-line from the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix (FRA) until the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme (ITA) are fully covering the exhibition space.

Decisions from the FIS Council Meeting in Oberhofen

The FIS Council traditionally held its Autumn Meeting at the FIS Office in Oberhofen (SUI) on Saturday 3rd November and dealt with a full agenda, including reports from Organising Committees for future FIS World Championships, the appointment of technical officials as well as proposals from the FIS Technical Committees with calendar updates and a number of rules.

Click HERE to see the main decisions of the FIS Council.

Final inspections before the season – Romania reaches a milestone in Ski Jumping

Among numerous inspections carried out before the season in the different FIS Olympic disciplines, FIS Ski Jumping Race Director Walter Hofer recently met with representatives of the Romanian Ski Association. The visit focusing on the new jumping hills was held in conjunction with the Romanian International Championships on 27th-28th October 2012 in Rasnov.

“Staging an international Ski Jumping competition in Romania might sound rather unusual and it actually is. But already a view on the facility Trambulină Valea Cărbunării in Rasnov has shown, that something was built here that is not mysterious, but the result of years of professional planning”, reported Walter Hofer.

On 19th-20th January 2013, four FIS Cup competitions (2 ladies, 2 men’s) will be held on the new HS 100 hill. The facility originally consisted of three jumping hills for children and young athletes and was completed by two more hills K64 (HS 71) and K 90 (HS 100) in October 2012.

Upon his return, FIS Ski Jumping Race Director Walter Hofer concluded on the positive trends: “Six years ago we did some sort of an appraisal and saw a precarious situation. Just like in some other countries as well, the only possibility for a young Romanian athlete to train was to travel abroad. Since then an amazing development took place at an accelerated pace. In the open national championships (including Bulgaria and Hungary) at the end of October, the fruit of this labour could be seen and Romania is now on its way to establish itself on the international field. One athlete (Dana Haralambie) could even already achieve the personal qualification standard for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.”

As a result of a cooperation between the Austrian industrial company OMV and the Romanian Ski Association started in 2007, the construction of the first Ski Jumping centre in Romania and South-Eastern Europe could be launched in 2009 in the city of Rasnov. With the sponsorship of OMV, project leader and Ski Jumping expert Paul Ganzenhuber and former ski jumper Christian Moser (both AUT) have been the driving forces in this development. The goal of the project “OMV Move & Jump” was to give Romanian ski jumpers the chance to score among the top ten of the world within the next ten years.

Women’s Ski Jumping Documentary Wins Banff Film Festival Award

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November 06, 2012 (Salt Lake City, UT) – The documentary film Ready To Fly has been awarded “Best Feature-Length Mountain Film” at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Ready To Fly, written and directed by William A. Kerig of Salt Lake City, Utah, follows 2009 World Ski Jumping Champion Lindsey Van and her ski jumping peers as they fight for inclusion in the Olympic Winter Games.

“This is the greatest honor of my filmmaking career and I’m in debt to the entire Ready To Fly team for helping make it happen,” said Kerig, who was in Banff, Alberta on Nov. 4 to receive the award. “We’re thrilled to be recognized among this excellent line-up of mountain films. We hope Lindsey’s story continues to resonate and inspire people around the world to never give up on their dreams.”

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival started 37 years ago and showcases the world’s best films, books, and photographs on mountain subjects – climbing, culture, environment, wildlife, exploration and adventure, and sport. The 79 films chosen as finalists this year were selected from 370 films entered in competition from 34 countries.

“This was probably the hardest category to judge, but in the end, one film overwhelmed us with its superb storytelling, inspiring characters and – most importantly – had the judges cheering at the finish,” said Banff jury member, Kathryn Bonnici. “The filmmakers spent years following this story, the pacing was spot on, and the images simply beautiful.”

On Oct. 12, Ready To Fly also won “Best Documentary” at the popular Carmel Art & Film Festival. Ready To Fly was released in Salt Lake City in February and test-marketed as part of the 10th anniversary of 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. It had its World Premiere at the MountainFilm Festival in Telluride, CO in May and has appeared in film festivals this fall throughout the U.S. including the Adventure Film Festival & Tour in Boulder, New Hampshire Film Festival, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, and Twin Cities Film Festival.

Ready To Fly will screen in two more film festivals this year:

X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival
1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8
Salt Lake City, UT
The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Tickets HERE.

Whistler Film Festival
12 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
More info HERE.

Film Website www.readytoflyfilm.com

USASJ’s Glasder Injured in Work Accident

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October 31, 2012 (Park City, UT) – U.S.A. ski jumping National Team member Mike Glasder (Cary, IL) has suffered a work-related injury, which will put the well-known jumper on the USASJ injuried list for an unknown period of time. Glasder, who recently came off from the annual Flaming Leaves event in Lake Placid with a strong third place and has enjoyed a strong summer of good results, was injured, when in his own words… “I was towing things back to a burn pile at work with a quad and the front tire hit some softer dirt which stopped the quad and sent me flying.” Glasder told the USASJ News Bureau he suffered a broken collarbone, which is now in four pieces.

Today Glasder told us of his current medical plans… “I had the options of surgery and letting my collarbone heal on it’s own, and after talking with Dr. Andy Chen (Alpine Clinic) and my doctor at home, I’ve decided to get a plate surgically installed so that my recovery time will be twice as fast. My doctor that will be performing the surgery said that the recovery should take about six weeks, but in my own mind I only see it taking about four weeks before I will get back on snow.”

The well-known Glasder, who has his eye on an Olympic berth for Sochi 2014 said that he is forward looking and expects things to go well. “I figure a little bit after Thanksgiving I will be able to put my skis on and get some good training in. I’m not the least bit worried about losing a step because jumping was going pretty well this Fall and I had some good training jumps at Norge before my injury as well as having really good ideas and mental images in my head at the moment.”

You’ve got to admired his comeback thoughts when he added…”This is just a small delay in my training and having to take a short break now will definitely make me even more excited about the coming Winter season.” Glasder is expected to be operated on Wednesday.

Also on the USASJ rehab list is Andover, NH jumper Nick Fairall, who continues to receive treatment at the Alpine Clinic in Franconia, NH, an official sponsor of the USASJ.

Frenette, Johnson Named to USASJ “A” Team

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October 25, 2012 (Park City, UT) – In an announcement made today by USA Ski Jumping’s CEO Jeff Hastings, two members of the USASJ squad have been elevated to “A” Team membership. Based upon their Grand Prix performances this Summer Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, NY) and Anders Johnson (Park City, UT) will be named immediately to the top team.

In making the announcement today Hastings–a 1984 U.S.A. Olympian, who was fourth in Sarajevo– said he was delighted by the progress both ski jumpers have made. “Anders and Peter’s performances this Summer and Fall have been really impressive and very much a validation for the program. Their results have provided a great financial boost to the program as USA Ski Jumping is now qualified to have two paid athletes and a coach at every World Cup event this Winter. Having two skiers performing at this level provides an enormous boost to the younger skiers in the U.S.A., as well. They get a picture of what they need to be doing and gain confidence that it’s possible. In a mind game like ski jumping, this kind of contact is critical. You need that first group to break through which breaks a path for others to follow”, Hastings said.

USASJ Athletic Director Alan Johnson said from the USASJ headquarters in Park City, UT today that the pair really stepped it up during the Summer. “Athletes earn a position on the “A” Team by either scoring Grand Prix or World Cup points or a top 10 in an international Continental Cup event. We are very pleased to have two athletes achieve this level in the first period of competition. We are on track with our goals at this point and very excited about the start of the second period in Lillehammer, Norway. These results will go a long way in helping USASJ athletes earn quota spots for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.” U.S. coach Clint Jones will travel with Johnson and Frenette this Winter.

The first FIS World Cup will get underway in Lillehammer, Norway in one month. The U.S.A. squad will assemble in Park City, UT soon for an intensive one-month camp, prior to the start of the competitive season.


Viessmann Named Overall Presenting Sponsor for FIS Nordic Disciplines

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October 18, 2012 (Oberhofen, Germany) – The International Ski Federation (FIS) and Viessmann, a long-time supporter of winter sports, are pleased to announce a great expansion and continuation of their partnership in support of Nordic Skiing. Viessmann, one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems, will become the Presenting Sponsor of all the FIS Nordic disciplines from the upcoming 2012/2013 season onwards.

As Presenting Sponsor, Viessmann will be partnering with the FIS World Cup series in Cross-Country Skiing, ladies’ and men’s Ski Jumping, and Nordic Combined. In addition, Viessmann has sealed its commitment to the FIS Nordic disciplines by entering into a multi-year relationship as Presenting Sponsor of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, including the 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions in Val di Fiemme (ITA), Falun (SWE) and Lahti (FIN), respectively. The six-year extension of Viessmann’s dedication builds on nearly two decades of winter sports sponsoring and is well aligned with the company’s brand values of innovation, top quality, efficiency, sustainability and reliability.

“FIS is highly pleased to build on the partnership with Viessmann during the next six years,” commented FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. “Our organization puts great value on nurturing long-term relationships with partners and finding creative solutions to grow the sport. We are looking forward to joining forces with Viessmann to seek new, innovative ways to engage Nordic Skiing fans.”

Since the 1993/94 season, Viessmann has been known for its commitment to winter sports and has formed a strong partnership with several national associations and international sports federations, as well as with different World Cup series. In the 2002/2003 season, the company became a major sponsor of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup series and two years later, its sponsorship was extended to the FIS Cross-Country World Cup series. With the launch of the ladies’ FIS Ski Jumping World Cup last year, Viessmann added the top level of ladies’ Ski Jumping competitions to its portfolio.

The multi-discipline, multi-year Viessmann engagement came together thanks to the great industry know-how and experience in Nordic Skiing provided by FIS Marketing AG, which is led by Christian Pirzer: “This long-term commitment is a milestone for Nordic Skiing and proof that the structure of FIS Marketing AG is able to develop successful partnerships which are ‘stronger and longer’ than anything else seen in this industry. We shall work hard to deliver the return for Viessmann’s investment and thank them for their trust.”

Recently appointed FIS Marketing AG Nordic Director Jürg Capol will lead the Viessmann sponsorship implementation and bring his extensive experience to the relationship. Jürg Capol served as the FIS Cross-Country Race Director for nine years and led, among other new ideas, the development of the highly successful FIS Tour de Ski multi-stage competition series which Viessmann has also supported from its launch.

USASJ News – Japan Wins First Mixed Team Event, USA Strong 5th in France

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August 15, 2012 (Courchevel, France) – Oh, what a night. The crowd loved it, the jumpers loved it, and it marks a great idea whose time has come. It was also a night that had heads turning from the collective results of the United States.

USA Ski Jumping teamed up Tuesday evening with members of the VISA USA Women’s Ski Jumping team to take an impressive fifth place in a historic first-ever mixed gender team event under the lights in this lovely French Alp community on the Hill Tremplin Le Praz (HS 96M) ski jump. It marked competition so close that the top three teams were separated by a scant 2.4 points. Everyone seemed delighted by tonight’s action and excitement.

A powerful Japan team consisting of Yuki Ito, Sara Takanashi, Noriaki Kasai and Yuta Watase took the win with 930.8 points. It’s interesting to note that Takanashi is but 15-years-old, while the smiling veteran Kasai is 40-years-old.

Germany was second with 928.9 winning the silver medal, while Austria was third with 928.4 points. Norway finished fourth jumping their number 2 and 3 ranked athletes, just nipping the USA squad. The USA scored points of 872.3 behind the jumping of Alissa Johnson, Jessica Jerome, Anders Johnson and Pete Frenette.

Jerome had outstanding jumps of 90.5 and 94.0 meters, while Alissa Johnson had jumps of 83.0 and 85.0 meters. Frenette had two rides of 79.5 and 83.5 meters, while Anders Johnson had 87.5 and 87.0 meters in his two competition rides. “This was a great experience for the USA”, said Coach Clint Jones, “Our guys performed ok, and while there is still room for improvement, we had some strong results. This was a test event to see how things would stack up, and with only average results from our guys, our USA squad was right in the mix. Both the men and the women had great fun and everyone seems happy with the new team event.”

USASJ Athletic Director Alan Johnson–whose son Anders and daughter Alissa both took part–told the USASJ News Bureau that he was thrilled saying…”If we can continue to focus on the technical tasks at hand, we will have some positive momentum from this—it also so gives us a long missing confidence boost. I’m doing back flips I’m so happy.”

Individual competition continues Wednesday (today) with more FIS Summer Grand Prix action and then will move to Hinterzarten, Germany for events August 17-19.

1. JPN 930.8
2. GER 928.9
3. AUT 928.4
4. NOR 889.4
5. USA 872.3
6. ITA
7. FRA
8. SUI
9. SLO
10. RUS

QUOTABLE…..Alissa Johnson: “Today was fantastic. It was such a blast for all the teams and something different from what we are normally used to. It’s nice to see the men and women integrating together in one team. For Anders and I, it was really special that we had the chance to compete together. Anders is my biggest fan so I always feel more confident when he is around.”

FIS Ski Jumping News: New Suits and Large Hill for Women Jumpers?

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April 20, 2012 (Zürich, Switzerland) – At the Sub-Committee meetings for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in Zürich on Friday and Saturday one of the most debated topics was the jumping suit which had become a topic following some well-publicized disqualifications during last season.

In the season 2011/12, a total of 1781 suits were controlled and approved for competition – 738 in the men’s World Cup and Grand Prix, 428 in the ladies World and Continental Cups, 615 in the men’s Continental and FIS Cups. Of the 14 disqualifications in the men’s World Cup only eight were due to suit rule violations, in the men’s COC the figure was 39 out of a total of 60.

“The atmosphere between the controllers and athletes is very good,” tells Sepp Gratzer, who will begin his tenth season as equipment controller in the men’s FIS World Cup. “The athletes themselves want many controls – the more controls, the more fairness and more equal chances.”

Besides various criteria – e.g. length of arms and legs, collar, different parts and seams etc. – the current rules call for “body measures plus a tolerance of 6cm,” allowing up to 6 cm of “air” between the body and the suit.

Last week a new suit was presented in Zürich. Made of five rather than seven parts, it has fewer seams and the tolerance of the suit is planned to be reduced from 6 cm to 0 cm. Hence the body size equals the suit size and the suit will practically become part of the body. Only from the knee downwards the old rule will still apply so the boot still fits under the suit.

“We tested various materials and found fabrics that are elastic enough for the different positions during a jump,” Gratzer explains. Both men and ladies will benefit from the planned change.

In terms of calendar, the men’s Summer Grand Prix will start with two competitions in Wisla (POL) on 20th-21st July and end in Klingenthal (GER) on 3rd October. The 2012/13 World Cup season will not start in Finland this time, but in Lillehammer (NOR) on November 24th-25th. The competitions in Kuusamo will take place one week later. With competitions in Vikersund (NOR), Harrachov (CZE), Oberstdorf (GER) and the final in Planica (SLO) in late March, four ski flying weekends are included in the calendar.

Whilst the FIS Sub-Committee agreed to the proposals that also include the calendars, nothing is decided yet. Next the National Ski Associations are requested to submit their feedback, on which basis the Jumping Committee will discuss the proposals during the FIS Congress in South Korea in late May before submitting them to the FIS Council for final decision.

2013 Women’s Ski Jumping World Cup Finals on the Holmenkollen?
What is already a tradition for the men, might also apply to the ladies’ Ski Jumping from the upcoming winter: the Holmenkollen in Oslo could become for the ladies what Planica is for the men for many years to come – the location for the FIS ladies Ski Jumping World Cup final.

For the ladies this would also be a premiere, because so far the World Cup competitions are only held on normal hills and the Holmenkollen (HS 134) is a large hill.

A total of 17 events are planned in the ladies World Cup next season.

The Ladies’ Summer Grand Prix will begin on August 15th with competitions in the classic sites of Courchevel and Hinterzarten and also include the first mixed competitions with teams consisting of two male and two female jumpers in the Summer Grand Prix. The final events of the summer series will be two competitions in Almaty (KAZ) on September 22nd and 23rd.

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.”

Visa Team to Jump in Nationals this Weekend

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September 30, 2011 (Fox River Grove, Illinois) – The Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team is in suburban Chicago this week to participate in the U.S. National Ski Jumping Championships, hosted by the Norge Ski Club.

Jessica Jerome, Sarah Hendrickson, Alissa Johnson and Abby Hughes will jump Saturday, Oct. 1, in the normal hill (K70) competition. Jerome won the large hill national title in July in Park City, Utah. Lindsey Van is nursing a leg injury and will not be competing.

The Norge Ski Club is hosting a National Championship for just the second time in the club’s 107-year history.

“It’s terrific to have Nationals here,” said Visa Team Head Coach Alan Alborn. “The Norge hill is one of the few in the nation of this size (K70). It’s not too big and not too small, so it’s a great venue for older, more experienced jumpers and the young up-and-comers, too.”

Norge Ski Club is part of the U.S. Central Division for ski jumping. There are 14 clubs in Central (Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin), with each having at least one ski jump. Alborn said the Central Division has by far the most active young female jumpers in the nation – at least 60 between the ages of 5 and 16.

“This atmosphere and this competition will provide a great opportunity to naturally see how our team is performing and it will be a good indicator for what’s to come this winter,” Alborn said. The inaugural FIS World Cup tour for women begins Dec. 3 in Lillehammer, Norway. World Cup status means better jumping venues and more television broadcasts for the women’s events, as well as increased prize money.

Alborn, the Visa Team’s new head coach, is based in Park City and also is the head coach for the Nordic Program at Utah Olympic Park. Growing up in Alaska and later Steamboat Springs, Colo., Alborn was a natural ski jumper. He competed on the World Cup for 10 years and is a three-time Olympian. He notched six National Championship titles in his career and still holds the American distance record for ski flying – 221.5 meters, or 720 feet, which he earned in the spring of 2002 at Planica, Slovenia. He retired in 2007.

Alborn is joined by International Coach Paolo Bernardi to help lead this year’s Visa Team. Bernardi, from Italy, was the ski jumping head coach for the Italian Nordic Combined Team and most recently was the wax tech and technical consultant for the USA Nordic Combined Team. He is a former Nordic Combined athlete who twice won Italy’s National Championships.

For more information about Saturday’s National Championship event, go to www.norgeskiclub.com.

The Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team is sponsored and organized by Women’s Ski Jumping USA, a 501c3 nonprofit foundation. To learn more, go to www.wsjusa.com.

24hr Ski Jumping World Distance Challenge

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September 21, 2011 (Chicago, IL) – The 24hr Ski Jumping World Distance Challenge is an ultra event to see how far ski jumpers in the USA can jump in one 24-hour period – and a challenge to ski jumping nations from around the world to see if they can match or beat the USA effort. The distance of every jump taken in the USA between 9:00 am CDT October 1 and 9:00 am CDT October 2 will be counted toward the USA total. Other festivities including food, drink, music, and more will supplement the event making it a memorable and meaningful 24 hours for participants and spectators.

Registration is FREE! Register HERE.

Contact: Jeff Hastings – jhastings@procutusa.com

FIS Grand Prix Concludes Asian Tour in Almaty

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September 07, 2011 (Almaty, Kazakhstan) – The first FIS top level Ski Jumping competition in Almaty, Kazakhstan, ended with a premiere. 22-year-old Jurij Tepes from Slovenia took his first FIS Grand Prix Ski Jumping victory on the new hill in Almaty. In fact Slovenia celebrated a double victory because Jure Sinkovec finished 2nd as another first time podium result.

“Of course it’s a great feeling to celebrate my first victory here. Both jumps were good, I think I was also the best in the final round. I didn’t really notice what happened before me because I was so focused on myself and my jump,” said the happy winner.

It is a brand new hill that was built in Almaty on the outskirts of Kazakhstan’s largest city for the Asian Winter Games that took place in February. Ski Jumping arouses lots of enthusiasm amongst the fans with hundreds already coming to watch the training on Monday and 4,000 the competition on Tuesday. Tuesday was a national holiday in Kazakhstan as the citizens celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Kazakh constitution. Last winter, a Continental Cup was also held at the new facility on the Gorny Gigant, as the mountain on the outskirts of town is known.

Before the competitions in Almaty, the FIS Grand Prix visited Hakuba (JPN) for two events. Both competitions ended with the same result as the same three athletes were on the podium on both days – in the exactly the same order: Tom Hilde of Norway left Japan with two victories, whilst Poland’s Piotr Zyla collected two second places and local hero Taku Takeuchi two third place finishes.

Thomas Morgenstern, who did not take part in the Asian tour, is close to winning the overall Grand Prix ranking. He now leads by 150 points with only two more competitions to go. After 2003 and 2007, this would be the third overall victory for the Austrian. Only Adam Malysz has won three times, in 2001, 2004 and 2006.

For more information visit www.fisskijumping.com

NYSEF Nordic Ski Jumping Summer Programs

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June 15, 2011 (Lake Placid, NY) – Check out details about the Summer Programs going on in Lake Placid! Lots of fun opportunities! It’s that time of the year again! The small hills are buffed and ready to rock for some summer ski jumping. If you got hooked on jumping last winter, or just want to test your ski skills on the artificial surface, then Lake Placid is where you’ll want to be!

NYSEF (The New York Ski Educational Foundation) is offering some great summer training. We’re holding weekly training from 3-5pm on Saturdays on our K18 meter hill, in addition to three fun focused 3-day Grasshopper Camps, which totally rock. You’ll get ski jumping instruction from great coaches, play Frisbee and soccer, take part in scavenger hunts, try out rollerskiing, and hang out with the USA Ski Jumping National Team!

Link to PDF with full information about camps and training HERE!

Holmenkollen Insider Day 3 – Museums, Ski History, Norwegian Chapel, Bjoergen’s Tiger

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February 26, 2011 (Oslo, Norway) – There was not so much action on the cross-country skiing side of things on Friday. Skiers were out training and technicians and coaches were testing waxes. The weather has changed from being coldish to being wet and a bit sloppy. We didn’t bring our rubber-boots, but probably should have… check out photos from our adventures today HERE.

The fog rolled in this morning and was so thick atop Holmenkollen that you could barely see 50 meters (if that)! This did not deter the ski jumping competitions (which are best watched on TV if you want to see anything more than the skier coming out of the clouds at the bottom of the hill), but it made things interesting for jumpers and spectators alike. More than one skier stated that they could not see a thing. (Our pictures barely do justice to the visibility; it got even worse as the day wore on).

At least one cross-country skier today briefly got lost while cruising the sprint course and the 5km (that skier’s name is name is Ahvo – but he found his way back to the wax cabins though).

Due to the fog and the lack of racing action on the cross-country side of things, today was a good day for checking out some history and culture in the area. We checked out the Edvard Munch exhibit located in Oslo’s center close to the medals plaza and hit up the Holmenkollen ski museum and chapel.

Edvard Munch, a famous Norwegian artist (more info HERE) born in 1863, has his artwork represented in eight sculptures made of ice and snow by internationally recognized artists featured in the city center.

The Ski Museum at Holmenkollen (more info HERE) is said to be the oldest museum in the world that specializes in skiing history. The museum was founded in 1923 at a location not far from its present location (since the 1952 Olympics) under the large jumping hill. The museum has exhibits about Norwegian explorers like Fridtjof Nansen (more info HERE) and Roald Amundsen (more info HERE) as well as a history of skis, ski making, Norwegian skiing heroes, and the royal family’s participation in ski sports.

The Holmenkollen Chapel is one of the most popular in Norway for weddings including baptisms, funerals, concerts, regular Sunday services and church festivals are also held there. The steeple of the chapel – when there is no fog – can be seen from the center of Oslo and is said to remind Olso and its visitors “of the self-expression of humanity and the joy of sport”.

The chapel was re-dedicated in 1996 and is similar to the previous chapel that stood in the same spot but was destroyed by arson in 1992. The construction method is traditional of Norwegian stave churches (more info HERE) from the 11th and 12th centuries and includes stained-glass windows a per the chapel brochure.

Tidbits for the day:
While Northug seems satisfied yesterday in the official press-conference after the sprints and even commented the better man had won, the Norweigan papers (like Aftenposten) reported this morning that Northug still says he is a better sprinter than Marcus Hellner in man-to-man races… but isn’t that what yesterday’s race was?

Marit Bjoergen is a tiger! After struggles in previous seasons, Bjoergen started working with a sport psychologist who told her to visualize herself as a hunting tiger out on the trails. The night before the sprint races she was frightened to find a tiger in her bed. It was only a stuffed animal (likely left by her sport psychologist) which startled her and then gave her a laugh (from yesterday’s press conference).

There was an interesting choice of photos for DagensNyheter (Swedish newspaper www.dn.se) with Petter Northug, Marcus Hellner and Emil Jönsson at the medal ceremony. Northug is clearly looking at the gold medal in Hellner’s hand. We suspect this picture was chosen on purpose… Norwegians and Swedes are a bit competitive. When we boarded the train this afternoon while chatting with a race volunteer, he was only able to whisper that a Swede and won yesterday.

Ahvo commented after the opening ceremonies and first medal ceremony that it seems that Norway has lost some of its Norwegian-ness. When he attended the Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 1994, the ceremonies were filled with Norwegian music and traditions whereas the flavor of these World Championships was much more international. Most music was in English and the show had a “Las Vegas-esque” feel.

Some videos from yesterday:
Chatting with a family in Oslo city-center about the sprints

Folk dance group gathered at Holmenkollen

Chatting with a family on the trail-side before the sprints

USA’s Frenette Scores First World Cup Points

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January 16, 2011 (Sapporo, Japan) – Teen Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, NY) put down the best U.S. ski jumping performance in over seven years Sunday, finishing 18th in Sapporo in only his second World Cup.

With each passing ski jumping event, Frenette is showing continued improvement. He was 23rd following the first round Sunday and moved up to finish 18th. It was the best U.S. finish since Clint Jones – now his coach – was 13th at Kuusamo, Finland in November of 2003.

Frenette soared a 113.5 on his first ride, bumping it up a notch on his second flight good to 120.0 meters.

The winner of the second competition in Sapporo in as many days, was Austrian Andreas Kofler, who narrowly missed the podium Saturday. Kofler was the picture of consistency with a pair of long rides of 131.0 and 132.5 meters. German Severin Freund celebrated a sensational weekend with a second place. Overall World Cup leader Thomas Morgenstern of Austria placed third.

USA Ski Jumping coach Clint Jones said this was a big step forward for Frenette.

“This was a great day for Peter and our team,” said Jones. “With two good jumps and a little bit of luck, Peter scored his first World Cup points. This is such a positive step forward and should hopefully take some pressure off of Peter in upcoming competitions.”

Frenette had been second on the same hill in Sapporo earlier in the week in a Continental Cup. He set himself up well for the weekend, finishing 28th in qualifying to give himself a starting spot for the pair of World Cups. In Saturday’s opener, he was 33rd after the first jump – just missing the top 30 cut.

Next up for Frenette will by the FIS World Junior Nordic Championships in Estonia.

FIS World Cup Sapporo, Japan – Jan. 16, 2011
Large Hill – HS134

1. Andres Kofler, Austria, (131.0, 132.5), 232.9
2. Severin Freund, Germany, (134.5, 120.0), 224.7
3. Thomas Morgenstern, Asutria, (110.0, 136.5), 222.4

18. Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake, NY, (113.5, 120.), 159.1

Full results HERE.

USA’s Van 3rd at Women’s FIS Ski Jumping Conti Cup in Hinterzarten

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January 12, 2011 (Hinterzarten, Germany) – Daniela Iraschko (AUT) and Coline Mattel (FRA) shared victories at the FIS Ladies Ski Jumping COC event in Hinterzarten today. Iraschko won the first competition of the day – which replaced the cancelled event in Schönwald-Schonach – while Mattel was first on Day 2 which was decided with only one jump due to bad weather and a deteriorating inrun track.

Iraschko won the first competition with 103.0m and 106.5m jumps for a total of 268.5 points ahead of Mattel (FRA/97.5 and 101 m/245.5 points) and Eva Logar (SLO/96.0 m and 99.5 m/234 points).

It was the 31st top ten result for Logar, but only her second COC podium after a third place finish in Zakopane in March 2010. Her teammate Anja Tepes was sixth – her 6th career the top ten finish. All together, four Slovenian athletes placed in the first ten spots.

Mattel, with 102.5 m/130.0 points, won the second competition that was decided with only one jump ahead of Iraschko (98.5 m/121.5 points) and reigning World Champion Lindsey Van (USA/97.0 m/116.5 points) in third. At the beginning of the final round, heavy snowfall began.

The Women’s Ski Jumping Continental Cup will continue with two competitions in Braunlage (GER) this coming Saturday and Sunday.


Daniela Iraschko
“It was a nice day after the difficult and emotional days in Schonach. I still think on Simona Senoner (the Italian jumper who died few days ago), but I was able to jump relieved.”

I tested a lot in the last weeks and changed something in my binding system. I’m happy to see that these efforts work out and bring good results.”

“I was ill but feel in great shape now. I do not look to Anette Sagen’s record of 42 COC victories, I’m looking just from competition to competition.”

“The hill in Hinterzarten is very nice, I like to jump it. In the first competition, for sure I was also lucky with the wind conditions.”

Coline Mattel
“When I started to my attempt in the second competition, the inrun was okay. I cannot say if the cancellation of the final round was correct or not but I believe that our Jury does a very good job.”

“I do not see myself in direct competition with Daniela Iraschko. It is more important for me to focus on myself and to try to do the best what I can do. If this happens, results will follow automatically.”

Eva Logar
“I got my second COC podium place in my career, therefore I’m happy. I had two really good jumps in the first competition but one not so good in the second event.”

“We trained a lot as a team last summer, today, we saw some results!”

Lindsey Van
“It was a right decision to cancel the final round of the second competition. The conditions started to become dangerous and unfair.”

“I’m happy that we go home after the competition in Braunlage for training, I do not feel myself in great shape. We will come back to Europe for the events in Ramsau.”


First competition
1. Daniela Iraschko (AUT) 103.0 m (1) 106.5 m (1) 268.5 points
2. Coline Mattel (FRA) 97 .5 m (2) 101.0 m (2) 245.5 points
3. Eva Logar (SLO) 96.0 m (3) 99.5 m (4) 234.0 points

Full results HERE.

Second competition
1. Coline Mattel (FRA) ´102.5 m 130.0 points
2. Daniela Iraschko (AUT) 98.5 m 121.5 points
3. Lindsey Van (USA) 97.0 m 116.5 points

Full results HERE.

COC Standings
1. Daniela Iraschko (AUT) 840 points
2. Coline Mattel (FRA) 540
3. Jessica Jerome (USA) 526
4. Lindsey Van (USA) 443

5. Melanie Faisst (GER) 390

Full standings HERE.

Jerome 4th and Van 5th at Conti Cup Amidst Tragedy – Day 2 Cancelled

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January 11, 2011 (Schonach, Germany) – Two members of the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team finished in the top five Saturday in a Continental Cup event that was overshadowed by the tragic and unexpected death of a young Italian jumper. Day 2 of the competition was cancelled on Sunday morning due to strong wind and rain.

The Italian Winter Sports Federation confirmed that Simona Senoner, just 17, died suddenly Friday in Schonach, Germany after feeling ill in her hotel room. The Associated Press reported that Senoner was airlifted to a local hospital after her roommate discovered her collapsed, but she was declared dead upon arrival. No cause of death was given, though early reports cite cardiac arrest. Senoner finished 10th in the 2008 junior worlds.

Visa team member Jessica Jerome said all the women jumpers wore armbands over their jumpsuits during competition Saturday in memory of Senoner and they observed a moment of silence at the prize ceremony.

Jerome finished 4th, Lindsey Van was 5th, Alissa Johnson was 22nd and Abby Hughes was 24th. Austria’s Daniela Iraschko won the event.

“It is absolutely unfathomable what the Italian girls are going through right now,” Jerome said. “I didn’t know Simona well, but she was very well loved by her teammates. She was always smiling and happy. All the jumper girls are still in shock. I admire the Italian girls’ ability to come together and perform the way they did Saturday.”

Hughes said she plans to wear her armband in honor of Simona for the remainder of the COC season. “I really admire the Italian girls for competing this weekend. Evelyn Insam finished 7th and she told me she did it for Simona,” Hughes said. “It’s amazing how this community has come together for her team, friends and family. It has definitely given me a different perspective.”

Higher than normal temperatures gave way to rain this week in Schonach, causing training delays, though Saturday’s comp was smooth. Van was third after her first jump of 95 meters on the 106-meter hill and Jerome was sixth with 92 meters. Jerome edged forward after her second jump of 97.5 meters – highest of the round.

“My second jump was exactly what I wanted, much better technically and flying in the air and I hope to carry that into competition on Sunday,” Jerome said.

Jerome and Van are currently in second and third in the women’s Continental Cup overall standings.

The next event is scheduled in Hinterzarten, Germany on Jan. 12.

“It has been very difficult for women’s ski jumping with the loss of Simona and our hearts go out to her family and the Italian team during this difficult time. They have shown amazing strength and they are an inspiration,” said Alissa Johnson.

Continental Cup, Schonach, Germany – Jan. 8, 2011
Women’s HS106
1. Daniela Iraschko, AUT, (96.0, 96.5) 239.6
2. Coline Mattel, FRA, (96.5, 95.5) 235.8
3. Melanie Faisst, GER, (97.5, 94.5) 231.9

4. Jessica Jerome, USA (95, 90.5) 227.9
5. Lindsey Van, USA, (88.5, 91.0) 222.9
22. Alissa Johnson, USA (82.5, 83.5) 182.8
24. Abby Hughes, USA (82.5, 83.5) 178.6

Gravey’s Grapevine – Bjoergen Magic and La Clusaz Preview

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December 17, 2010 – If you’re Marit Bjoergen, you’re on top of the world… and the women’s world cup points standings, too. Let me hasten to remind you that she has won nine world cup races in a row (the final two in Falun last year and seven this year) and has no plans of slowing down. She has crushed the field like a styrofoam cup so far.

Bjoergen is clearly the class of the women’s field. She notched her 41st world cup win in the 10km classic race in Davos. Marit is now only one win short of former teammate Bente Skari in the all-time victory record books for women – and apparently wants to beat legendary compatriot, Bjorn Dählie’s, men’s record of 46 wins as well. She also told Norwegian media this week she’ll take a pass on the grueling Tour de Ski to keep her focus on the Nordic Worlds in Oslo.

It’s the second straight podium for Kikkan Randall this past weekend, after finishing third in the freestyle sprint at Davos. The Alaska miss is currently ranked third in sprint cup points. She plans to stay in lovely Davos to train for the upcoming Tour de Ski and will enjoy the Yuletide there with her husband Jeff Ellis.

Randall will not be on the start line tomorrow for the USA in the women’s 15km freestyle according to coach Matt Whitcomb. “She was feeling ragged following the races last weekend. We have decided to play things conservatively. It’s a long winter.” Whitcomb also reports 18 inches of new snow on the ground in La Clusaz today.

Expect Liz Stephen and Morgan Arritola in the women’s race for the US. For the men’s 30km look for [Kris] Freeman (who had a cold recently), and Noah Hoffman as the male starters for the Americans.

Two top Swedish women return to action this weekend in France after skipping Davos due to illness. You might watch to see how Charlotte Kalla and Anna Haag do following their break. Still on the injured list is Johan Olsson, who’s been having breathing problems and is back home in Sweden recovering.

People’s heads turned as a result of the surprise winner of the men’s 15km classic in Switzerland – big props to Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan all of 23 years old winning his first time world cup.

It was another great race last Sunday for Sweden’s Emil Joensson winning a tight one over Russia’s Alexei Petukhov. Joensson continues to hold the leader’s bib for sprint world cup points.

I must say that the big surprise in the men’s sprint was the performance of “Look at that Time”S.Federico Pellegrino from Italy. His qualifying time was the best of the day. We will see more of him.

Canada Beat
In an email from head coach Justin Wadsworth, the Canadian squad plans to ski Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov, Lenny Valjas and Brent McMurty in the 30km in La Clusaz. His plan is that everyone will do the 30km except perhaps Lenny, who may only ski the relay. They stayed in Davos as well, where conditions are perfect.

Alex Harvey checks in to say he will fly into Geneva on Thursday from Montreal. He will travel to the French race with head wax technician Yves Bilodeau. Harvey has been home writing important exams since Kuusamo and has logged some great training in Quebec and some fine intensity sessions. Both Chandra Crawford and Daria Gaiazova have returned home following the Davos races.

Talking to Jack
I caught up with follow Trax columnist Jack Sassville – we go way back to the days of Tony Wise’s Gitchi Gami Games in the 1970s. Looking to this weekend he had some promising words for the Canadian team.

According to Jack Saz – “I think Devon has proven that he is in the top tier of skiers. He now can finish consistently in the top 10 to 15. The next step for him is to get a podium in a distance race. Alex Harvey has shown that he belongs, too. This guy is the most talented male skier to come along in Canada, sinceShis dad.” How about Len Valjas? “Len did nothing as a junior, but moving to a training centre was the best thing that ever happened to him. He has a great head for racing and I think that his height – 6 ft, 5 inches tall – is actually an advantage to him in sprinting. He can create a lot of power through his long levers and he is hard to get around.”

The Weekend in La Clusaz
La Clusaz announcer, Christophe Sevessand (he did Biathlon at Vancouver 2010) will have a busy weekend at La Clusaz also producing the live show on-site. He recently reported thatS.”It’s cold this morning with -15C, but it’s nice in the stadium area with the sunshine. We had great snow but lost it to heavy rains last weekend. We expect snowfall on Friday (it did), and at the moment the snow guns are working well….”

We understand that French star, Vincent Vittoz will remain sidelined this weekend at home. It’s a pity. He has gone thru MRI exams and the injury to his left thigh – which happened in Gallivare – is stilled not fully healed. Vittoz said he would resume some light skiing and running this week.

On Saturday xc skiers will contest a mass start 15/30km freestyle race in La Clusaz and on Sunday it’s back to more exciting relays – 4x5km for the women and a 4x10km for the men. The Clusaz venue is the proposed site for France’s bid for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Jumping News
High winds in Harrachov forced the cancellation of both days of ski jumping last weekend. Austria’s Thomas Morgenstern remains the leader of the jumping world cup overall standings, as the flyers travel to Engelberg, Switzerland this weekend for a tournament. FIS says it will move the Harrachov event to Engleberg.

Women’s jumping of late has been dominated by the Austrian skier, Daniela Iraschko. The USA women have also been on a hot streak with the fine skiing of Jessica Jerome, Lindsey Van and Sarah Hendrickson. Jerome is second overall behind Iraschko, Van is in third, and Hendrickson is fourth. The COC tour takes two separate paths this weekend with the men heading to a new facility in Turkey, while the women will jump in Norway.

We also hear sad news from Austrian ski jumping that star performer Gregor Schlierenzauer fell in a training jump at Seefeld – high above Innsbruck – on the 75 HS jump. According to FIS he has pain in his right knee, and an MRI was done. They also say that the first reports indicate a possible partial rupture of the right collateral ligament. This might well take him out of the famed 4 Hills Tournee, which kicks off in two week’s time.

Nordic Combined – Lodwick Returns to Europe
US Nordic Combined Head Coach, Dave Jarrett, checked in about this coming weekend. They’re sending Todd Lodwick, Eric Camerota, Nick Hendrickson and the Fletcher brothers (Taylor and Bryan) to Ramsau, AUT for the next world cup. Billy Demong will stay stateside while he and his wife await the birth of their first child. DJ reports that depending on how things unfold Demong may stay home and train until Oslo. Lodwick will stay in Europe to compete in Seefeld (AUT) and Chaux Neuve (FRA).

See you on the trails… there’s great snow across the country now.