When it comes to extreme sports, Ski Jumping is considered to be one of the oldest and one of the most technically difficult. Athletes accelerate down the in-run at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour with nothing but a pair of skis on their feet, launch themselves off the end of the jump, and sail through the air almost three football fields in length, landing in a telemark because their heels aren’t completely attached. What could be crazier or more fun to watch?
Ski Flying requires a level of technique, skill, and courage not always necessary at other, smaller ski jumps. Ski Flying jumps are huge. Just a slight mistake can cost an athlete hundreds of feet in flight, or even worse, a dangerous crash, so the stakes are high, especially since athletes have very few chances to train on these size hills and make changes to their technique. Last year, Stefan Kraft of Austria set the current World Record, jumping 253.5 meters (831.7 feet) in Vikersund, Norway. That same weekend, Kevin Bickner set the American distance record at 244.5 meters.
This weekend is a weekend we all look forward to every year: Ski Flying in Planica. It’s the World Cup Finals, and one of the largest spectator events held every year in all of winter sports. Over the next four days, hundreds of thousands of fans will pack the area surrounding the Slovenian venue to celebrate and party, while their favorite skiers test their nerves and defy gravity. And the crowds are unbelievable. Last year, the venue at Planica reported sales of over 90,000 tickets, just on Saturday. That’s a lot of noise when you’re sitting on the bar at the top of the in-run, trying to focus.
Tune in this weekend and cheer on our USA Nordic athletes at the Ski Flying hill in Planica. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s worth setting multiple alarms, and if you have seen it, you’ve probably already got your alarms set. For times and viewing options for Ski Flying, as well as the World Cup Finals for Women’s Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, CLICK HERE. And don’t forget to check our social media channels this weekend for a chance to win some USA Nordic swag!
It’s been a great season, let’s close it out with a bang.
Go USA Nordic!