Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Steamboat, CO
One of my fondest memories of ski jumping is being at Howelson Hill with all the Steamboat jumpers on Wednesday nights spending the evening competing on each jump from the 20 meter up to the 50 meter. Spending the night with friends that would end up shaping my life and remain close through present day. All of the laughs, the tears, and of course the competition that drove us to pursue the dream of ski jumping. Coaches like Todd Wilson and Gary Crawford sending us down the hill, all our parents judging, marking, scoring. This is the foundation of the sport I love and the sport that has become the foundation for my life. I will never forget jumping under the lights at Howelson Hill with my friends!!!
As far as a competitive memory goes, I will never forget winning my first continental cup competition in Westby, WI. I had a lot of confidence coming of a few successful competitions in Japan, and was fortunate enough to transfer that into the following weekend in Westby. I had just qualified for the US Olympic team and was headed to Lake Placid after the weekend in Westby for the Pre-Olympic training camp. As many know, jumping in front of the home crowd in the Midwest is like nothing else. Horns honking, tailgating, fire pits, nothing like anywhere else in the world. Not to mention everyone cheering for the US team. It was a special honor to compete there and to win there after being named to my first Olympic team.
Editor’s note- Tommy is ever the energized spark at the middle of something. I last saw him in the crowd cheering for the Americans at the large hill event in Vancouver 2010… he was the one in the crowd dressed head to toe revealing gold lycra … and blue lips.
Saranac Lake, NY
Tupper Lake Ski Club
I was a junior jumper in the Torger Tokle league (Nordic combined). When I got to college I hurt my foot and couldn’t ski. When the team needed a jumper I told them I had experience and proceeded to get suited up. Well, the skis were a lot longer and the hill a lot bigger (Sunday River, ME I think). I went off the jump on a warm day and landed it but my skis stuck and I went head over heels . My head and neck drug a 10 yard trench and when I finally pushed up enough snow to stop me I flipped over and landed on my back. It knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t breathe, I was so sore and couldn’t move my neck for days. Needless to say that was the end of that. I now enjoy watching my son and daughter.
Editor’s note- When asked for a photo and questioned whether the incident above might have been perfect training for his rugby career, Peter responded:
Picture is from state meet a relay which we won. I grew up with my father as my coach for the Torger Tokle league out of Tupper Lake. He used to take us to Lake Placid to ski jump at night. Old Forge had a jump also Rugby was a lot of fun and provided me with two trips to England and Ireland. Don’t think i would have made it to Europe with my jumping skills.