1 Comment

  1. Jeff Hastings

    This from Jim Balfanz:
    Another “back story” to Greg’s well done article. At the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, when Jerry went up to the top of the 90 meter for his second jump, he was determined to improve on his first one. When it came time for him to come down, Jerry had his skis on and did a last minute check as most jumpers do before kicking off the top of the hill. Jerry checked his bindings and then flexed his boots to make sure the bindings were well connected to his boots. Oops! as he did so, the leather sole of one boot came unattached from the heel almost to the ball of his foot. One eye couldn’t stop Jerry, but his presented a challenge he wasn’t sure about. But, it was the Olympics and Jerry was not about to drop out. He slid over the top and as soon as he came over the knoll we coaches all knew something was wrong, because Jerry basically “slid” off that jump and landed safely and rode down the hill. When he got to the bottom of the jump not much, if anything was still attached to that particular ski.

    We will never know the disappointment our best jumper had that day. He had overcome so much to get to the top of our US jumping team and then “this had to happen.”

    Being the terrific sportsman Jerry was, he never used that as an excuse. But, those of us there that day knew “the rest of the story.”

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