SEEFELD, Austria (March 4, 2019) – In 2017 Casey Larson (Barrington, Ill.) jumped to ninth in the Junior World Championships in Park City, Utah. This feat showed that he was one of the best ski jumpers his age in the world. Now, Larson is 20, no longer a junior by definition, but still a youngster. It’s one thing to succeed on the junior level, but the World Cup circuit is cut-throat. Only the 50 best jumpers from qualification get to compete. After the first competition round, that number gets cut to 30. Larson has never qualified for the second round of a World Cup.
At the World Championships in Seefeld Friday night, under the bright lights and thick falling snow, Larson flew 92 meters on his first jump. Afterward, he sat in the dressing room scrolling live results on his phone watching as jumper after jumper failed to reach his mark. At one point he looked up from his phone dumbfounded saying, “This is insane!”
After all 50 jumpers had gone, Larson sat in 13th place. He suited up again and got on the lift for a second jump – a second jump he was not used to having.
When asked about nerves he said, “I was definitely a little nervous on the second jump.” It would be concerning not to feel nerves while sitting atop a ski jump with 30 of the best ski jumpers in the world and thousands of fans screaming from below. The second jump wasn’t quite like the first. Larson’s thoughts on the second jump were mixed. “I put down a jump, though it wasn’t quite the one I wanted.” In the end, he finished 28th – a personal best result at the top international level.
Progression in sport doesn’t happen fast. It takes small improvements day in and day out, over and over again. It may be tiring but nothing is quite as satisfying as progress. Larson’s progress over the years has been tremendous. He established success as a junior and now at the highest-level he’s finding his way.
Head Coach Bine Norcic is proud. “Congrats to Casey for his personal best result.” He goes on to say, “Now it’s time to set the goal even higher.”
Larson is one of a host of ski jumpers coming out of the Chicago area Norge Ski Club. He will join Kevin Bickner and staff for the Raw Air Tournament, which consists of ten days competing across Norway. The Raw Air Tournament will conclude with Ski Flying on the largest hill in the world – Vikersund. After Vikersund, the season will finish for Larson and Bickner on the famous ski flying hill in Planica, Slovenia.