Ishpeming, Mich. August 15, 2019 – International Ski Federation (FIS) Race Director Walter Hofer and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the commitment to bring the FIS ski jumping World Cup back to Michigan in 2021. The Governor and Hofer addressed policy and business leaders at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, to announce that Pine Mountain, in Iron Mountain, Mich., is in line to host an international World Cup ski jumping competition in 2021.
“Bringing an event back to North America has been a priority for us,” said Hofer.
The funding was the result of efforts over the past few years by a consortium of Michigan Upper Peninsula ski jumping leaders, along with USA Nordic. Officials from Copper Peak, the Kiwanis Ski Club in Iron Mountain and the Ishpeming Ski Club were on hand for the announcement in the community of Ishpeming where organized ski jumping began in 1905 with the formation of the National Ski Association.
At 176 feet high, the Pine Mountain Ski Jump is one of the highest artificially created ski jumps in the world. Located in Iron Mountain, it hosts annual FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup competitions and held the FIS Ski Jumping World Cups in 1996 and 2000. The Upper Peninsula is also home to Copper Peak, located outside of Ironwood, which would become the largest year-round event and training facility in the world in 2021. Copper Peak organizers are expected to submit a bid in early 2020.
“I’m pleased to see this commitment to bring world-class ski jump competition back to Michigan after a 21-year absence,” said Billy Demong, Olympic gold medalist and executive director of USA Nordic. “This is truly a transformational opportunity for the entire state and our nation!”
This announcement comes after a $10 million appropriation from state law PA 618 of 2018 for the northern Michigan Tourism and Sports Fund and Great Lakes Sports Commission. It was in response to the leadership of so many community leaders and their vision to promote northern Michigan as a venue for world-class sports competition.
This announcement comes on the heels of multiple facility upgrades throughout the country such as Lake Placid, N.Y. and Eau Claire, Wis. Such a project bodes well for the future of ski jumping, specifically in the Midwest, which is home to four out of the seven U.S. Olympic ski jumping team members in 2018.
With development on the rise and participation reaching all-time highs, USA Nordic officials feel that these upgraded hills in Iron Mountain and Copper Peak will get plenty of use. In fact, such venues would allow American athletes to spend less time abroad, especially during the summer and fall months.
On an international level, the last Ski Jumping World Cup in Iron Mountain, Michigan took place in 2000. The most recent Ski Jumping World Cup held in the United States was in Park City, Utah in 2004, two years after the Olympics.
“This almost 15-year gap is far too long for our liking and we look forward to bringing the great sport of ski jumping back onto our home turf,” said Demong
Iron Mountain will host its annual Continental Cup on February 15-16, 2020. This event always draws a tremendous crowd, as the surrounding Iron Mountain community pledges its support for ski jumping.