St. Paul Ski Club
Back in 2012, I shared a story with you about our family and our roots in ski jumping. Rewind a little bit….a brief summary…. my husband Ty and I met and ski jumped together in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, got married in 2004, had six kids, and were expecting our seventh child when I last wrote. Fast forward…. our seventh child, a girl, Camilla Colette Jacobson, was born on April 28, 2013, and we have been blessed with four more children since then, so if you’re keeping track, 11 children in all. Over the years, our kids have continued the sport of ski jumping, the oldest ones all the way down to the little ones. We found that this sport is actually well-suited for big families as it provides a venue for all ages at the same place at the same time. We have been able to spend much family time together and have created many treasured memories.
Sadly, this story is not about any one of those memories, but it is about the wonderful people involved in ski jumping and the special bond we share. Tragically, unexpectedly, unimaginably, our seventh child, Camilla passed away this summer on July 29, 2021. She was 8 years old. Our hearts are broken and our family is experiencing a giant emptiness where it was once filled with joy and laughter. Although we are sorrowful beyond words, we have been uplifted by the immense support in the wake of Camilla’s death, namely, through our ski jumping family.
When news spread about her accident, the Sheriff’s Office where Ty works, kindly, set up a Go Fund Me page to help our family with medical costs and ongoing needs. We were astounded by the outpouring of prayers and support from the ski jumping community, from our own St. Paul Ski Club and various clubs in our Central division, Itasca, Cloquet, Minneapolis, Cameron, etc. In addition, our St. Paul ski club members helped us by quickly gathering ski jumping photos and videos of Camilla so we could add them to her slide show…. for that I was very thankful. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the turnout for her wake and funeral especially to those ski jumpers who made long trips to attend. It absolutely meant so much.
Camilla loved ski jumping. It gave her a platform to shine as an individual, to be herself, overcome fears and make friends, the latter, being her favorite. She enjoyed doing the sport with her family, especially her sisters Delia and Agatha, her cousin Teresa, and clubmates Annika and Aisley Edlund, Ava Chapman, and Alaina Newton, and also was eager to meet new people her age from other clubs. Friday night tournaments at the St. Paul Ski Club provided many jumps on the 10m with the installation of our tow rope, and this past winter Camilla even gained enough courage to jump our 20m, I remember how determined she was to take that first jump, she had made up her mind and she did it without hesitation. Her smile after will forever remain a special moment for me as a parent.
I just wanted to write this story to simply highlight the special family that ski jumping is. As skiers, we learn to develop and perfect every jump while doing it with friends who share that same passion. Out of it, come good memories and lasting friendships. As parents, we share the pride in watching our children grow in a unique sport, always being excited for all skiers’ accomplishments, and also the camaraderie of other parents’ company and good conversations. But most importantly, this sport and its people rejoice in the happy times and support you in the most difficult times. I am grateful for both. On the day of Camilla’s burial, Ava Chapman, a fellow ski jumper at St. Paul ski club presented me with a picture she drew of Camilla. On it was a drawing of Camilla ski jumping, in perfect detail, with her pink suit, black helmet, and braids. At the bottom, it reads, Flying with the Angels. I keep this picture hung in my hallway as a reminder of where Camilla is… in Heaven, flying with the angels. Thank you again to all of the people in ski jumping who have graciously and generously sent prayers, love, and compassion our way. We will forever cherish your kindness and pray Camilla will always watch over each and every one of you.
Veronica Jacobson – December 25th, 2021