NATIONAL SKI JUMPING DAY TO BE CELEBRATED JAN. 22-24
USA Nordic and local clubs organizing activities across the country
Winter sports clubs across the nation are celebrating the first National Ski Jumping Day this weekend on Saturday, January 23rd. USA Nordic, the national leadership organization for ski jumping and nordic combined, has designated Jan. 22-24 a weekend to celebrate one of the oldest of all winter sports.
USA Nordic clubs are conducting local activities around their respective ski jumps to raise attention for the sport and raise money for youth programs.
Ski jumping formally dates back to the early 19th century, though there are accounts of it going back even further. The first official ski jump on record occurred in 1808 when Norwegian Olaf Rye soared 9.5 meters. Today, at ski flying competitions, it’s not unusual to see ski jumpers fly out to 250 meters or beyond. Norwegian Sondre Norheim is considered the father of ski jumping, winning the first ever competition recorded in 1866.
Jumping was one of the original events at the Olympic Winter Games in 1924 when Anders Haugen of the USA won the bronze medal. His finish was not officially recognized for 50 years due to a scoring error.
“Kids just love ski jumping,” said Olympic champion and USA Nordic Executive Director Billy Demong. “In communities across the country with ski jumps, more and more kids are trying the sport to experience the thrill of soaring through the air.”
Most clubs across the country with ski jumps have introductory programs for kids (or adults) to try the sport. Many also have innovative Team Magnus mini skis to help introduce newcomers to the feel of sliding on snow.
For more information on how to participate or to find a local ski jumping club, check out details at USANordic.org.
Sample National Ski Jumping Day Events
The Norge Ski Club (Fox River Grove, Ill.), one of the oldest clubs in America, is having a jump-a-thon where skiers are also raising money based on pledges per jumps taken.
The Cloquet Ski Club (Cloquet, Minn.) will join with other ski jumpers from around USA Nordic’s Central Division to celebrate during its annual junior competition weekend. Activities will include weekend ski jumping and cross country skiing competitions. Participating clubs from around the Central Division will be keeping track of their jumps on Saturday to select the top club. The junior jumping and nordic combined competitions are set for Sunday.
The St. Paul Ski Club (St. Paul, Minn.) will be expanding its weekly Friday night competition, running a fun tournament across all of its hills and keeping track of total jumps.
Wisconsin’s Cameron Ski Club (Cameron, Wis.) will host its own event over the weekend in northwestern Wisconsin.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will hold its annual junior tournament in Steamboat together with Park City Ski & Snowboard (Utah). The event will also double as a Junior National Qualifier.
In Utah, the Park City Ski & Snowboard club will also hold an activity for jumpers who don’t make the trek to Steamboat Springs. The event will be held on the Olympic jumps at the Utah Olympic Park.
Even in Alaska, the resurgent program in Anchorage will also get into the act, with the club tracking jumps all weekend for local athletes.