Age 53 (will be 54 December 9, please email him a happy birthday)
Ford Sayre Ski Club, USST, ’84 and ’88 Olympian
Olympic Forejumper Has Most Impressive Leap
High winds during the ’88 Calgary Olympics delayed, and eventually canceled, official training for days on end. Ironically, this gave U.S. and Canadian forejumpers the opportunity to log more practice than most Olympic competitors. During his first jumps at the Canada Olympic Park, I expect U.S. forejumper Ron Hansen was impressed with his speed as he climbed the landing hill counter slope. Ron began to formulate a plan.
Most ski jumpers in Calgary sensed the need to remain upright to increase wind resistance and drop speed before reaching the top of the counter slope. However, on one particular jump, and unannounced to anyone, Ron decided drop back into an inrun position after safely touching down on the K120 landing hill. Where most athletes began to stop, Ron was whipping across the snow as he reached the lip of the counter slope. At this point, Ron jumped again, over the knee and with perfect timing. Once again, Ron entered his flight position and soared completely over the fence at the end of the outrun.
Ron slammed directly into an unsuspecting ABC cameraman and leaped into Olympic headlines around the world. For me, it was the most spectacular jump of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
EDITOR’S NOTE- “Wreckless” Ron Hansen was legend across the US in the 80’s and often hand-picked by Ed Brisson for the toughest duties when it came to canary in the coal mine challenges like setting tracks or determining whether there was too much wind to jump. If you haven’t seen Mike setting the world distance record in Planica, (then) Yugoslvia in 1985 (or if you haven’t seen it in a while) you need to check this out- CLICK HERE
|Mike with sister Judy and father Harry on the Calgary counter-slope that launched Ron Hansen.|
|The Calgary ski jumping complex.|