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USA’s Bickner 24th in First Ski Flying World Cup of Season in Austria

release by USA Nordic Sport

January 15, 2018 (Bad Mitterndorf, Austria) – Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, IL) scored his best result of the season finishing 24th in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria, at the first Ski Flying World Cup of the season on Jan 13.

Kevin Bickner [P] Tom Kelly
Cool, crisp air and just a slight breeze set the stage for a great day of competition on the first of two days of competition at the Kulm Ski Flying venue. Bickner, who set the American Distance Record at 244.5 meters at a competition last year in Vikersund, Norway, was the only American skiing in the event.

A first round jump of 189.5 meters was enough for 26th place after the first round. A slight improvement in the second round, jumping 196.5 meters, gave Bickner his first top 25 of the season.

“I wasn’t really focused on scoring points today,” said Bickner, “I was more concerned with having two good jumps and trying to go as far as I could.”

“I’m happy with 24th,” added Bickner. “But honestly it could’ve been better. It’s ski flying, so it’s always fun, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“It was a good competition,” said Head Coach Bine Norcic. “Kevin’s jump were pretty average, but it’s good to see that, even with average jumps, Kevin can be in the top 30 easily. Kevin is capable of more and we are excited for tomorrow.”

While Kevin was the only American athlete able to compete based on the results of his qualification, he will be joined by USA Nordic athletes Will Rhoads (Park City, UT) and Michael Glasder (Cary, IL), when all three will have another chance to qualify for the competition immediately following.

“We’re excited for the other guys to get another chance tomorrow as well,” said Norcic. “They are all capable of qualifying, easily. We’ll focus on being a bit more relaxed and just doing our job.”

The second Ski Flying competition of the weekend on the Kulm-hill in Bad Mitterndorf (AUT) became a victim of the strong wind.  The qualification was first postponed and later canceled. After more delays, the jury decided to cancel this season’s second Ski Flying competition. Up next is official training and qualifications for the Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER) from Jan 18-21.

1. Andreas Stjernen, NOR
2. Daniel Andre Tande, NOR
3. Simon Ammann, SUI

24. Kevin Bickner, USA

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