STORY No. 28
‘64 & ‘68 Olympics, ‘66 FIS, National Champion 68, National Judge
|Jay Martin… with one of Dave Hicks’s Northlands!
Hopefully HIcks got a share of the style points on this one.
As with many of you my second family is the ski jumping community. I ran the Mpls ski club program which for many years ran two sites, Theodore Wirth and Bush Lake. I was program director and coach from 1972 until 2004. I loved being an athlete, coach, and all the great times we all had together. That’s the motivation that keeps me going.
I’ve a few stories to share. I traveled a lot like most of you but I went to college in Laramie Wyoming from 1963 to 1968 so getting to some of the events became an issue. One of those times was my trip to Ishpeming. The weather delayed my Friday arrival day to Saturday. I arrived in Marquette around noon with the tournament starting at 1pm. I got a taxi and had him turn on the radio so I could listen to the event. I heard the Star Spangled Banner and knew I had to change. I was changing into my jump gear in the taxi with my skis hanging out the window. The tournament had started and was well on its way when I arrived. I ran up to the truck with bibs and put mine on. With maybe 12 numbers in front of me, I ran up the stairs. In those days that’s the way it was done. Plus this was the 1stround. Practice was over. I got to the top with little to spare. Out of breath I got the flag and kicked out down the ramp. I hit the take of perfectly, sailed through the air and landed. I had the longest jump of the round.
Another was the red eye plane ride and bus ride to the NCAA Championships at Crystal Mt, WA. I was late again and missed the practice. It was snowing and blustery. Since I was late they put me up first. There had been so much snow that winter, the in-run had to be cut out of the snow down about 8ft to get a good R-1. I didn’t realize it but during the wait between practice and the event the snow had built up in the R-1. I got the flag and down I went. I was pressing extremely forward so I could move forward fast and powerful. I hit the powder snow in the R-1 and walked of the take off. To save myself, I did a swan dive, skis behind me. Lit on my chest and slid to a stop, healthy. Brushed the snow off, put my coat on and watched the rest of the event. That’s on TV.
How about this one. It was Nationals at Berlin, NH. On my first ride I had walked up to the top with time to spare. I put my skis up in the corner of the box. Moments later someone bumped them and one goes sailing through a hole off the back of the jump to land in the snow below. We yelled down for someone to get my ski. I ran down the scaffold and met the guy at the bottom of the stairs. I grabbed my ski and ran to the top watching the skiers go by. Ansten Samuelson was the guy in front of me. He waited, shuffling his skis back and forth, ‘til I reached the top. Of f he went. I threw my skis down, slapped them on, again out of breath, got the flag. Down I went, hit the take-off, flew high over the knoll and lit setting a new hill record. Not ever to be broken.
Then there was the time in Lake Placid 1968 for the Olympic tryouts. We had just arrived back from the Springer Tourney to LP on Tuesday for the weekend competition. My skis and luggage got lost. So no practice ‘til Friday. Still with no equipment, I begged to borrow some equipment for a couple of jumps. Coy Hill, rest his soul, said he’d take a couple and let me use his stuff. He was 5’9 . I was 5′ 11. He wore size 42 boots. I wore size 44. I poured into his outfit took his skis and away I went. With my toes curled, my long bare arms hanging out from his sweater and skis too short, I had a couple of jumps. He said, if my stuff didn’t come in time, we would have time in the round to do a switch. After practice, when we arrive back at the lodge, my equipment had come. On Saturday with my own equipment, I place 3rd behind Bakke and Balfanz.
Some of you would never think of doing this. Because of the 64 season and Steamboat, Hicks and I were down to one ski each out of the two pair we each got from Northland for the Olympics. So in 1965 I skied with his 8’2 and my 8’4 Northland. I’m using them in the picture.