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I was raised in Racine, Wisconsin and lived there most of my life. I shared with you how I was introduced to ski jumping a few years back, but won’t go into that again because I want to mention another jumper, who in my opinion, overcame many obstacles and became a very good skier.
First a little about ski jumping in Racine. We had a very active junior club, along with 8 or 10 older senior jumpers. We had a wonderful coach, Brady Emerson, who just loved ski jumping and coaching the kids. All we had was a very small hill in the center of town. It had a hill record of 68 feet and none of us could ever match or beat that mark.
We always had terrible weather and very mild temps being close to Lake Michigan. We were lucky to have snow by Christmas which meant filling Brady’s small trailer with load after load of snow, running all over town to get our small hill in shape. There was a jumper out of our small club that somehow became good enough to be Junior National Champion, and go on to make the U.S. Ski Team. He also held the National summer distance record back in the day in Madison of 200′. His name is Tim Kingsfield.
He was a strong jumper and won many long standing competitions, set many hill records, as well as jumping on all of the big hills, including Copper Peak. In fact I am sure that he was one of the very first off of the Peak, and I remember him talking about starting from the very top start. I can’t imagine what the take-off speed must have been.
We all remember great jumpers from our past, and I just had to mention Tim, who is one of my all-time favorites. I wish that I would have had his take-off and that I could have given him my landing.
Everyone starts somewhere. Photo of the old jump in Racine, WI.