Sarah Hendrickson

Sarah Hendrickson: How to be a ski jumper

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The first Olympic women’s ski jumping competition could very well inspire many kids to take up the sport.

Why wait until February? World champion Sarah Hendrickson, 19, of Park City, Utah, put together a video primer on the sport for the International Olympic Committee’s YouTube channel.

Hendrickson is recovering from major knee surgery and hopes to return to ski jumping in January.

She said the sport is broken down into four parts — the in-run, the takeoff, the flight position and the landing. Five judges look at flight position, landing and the out-run after the landing. Each judge has a maximum of 20 “style” points, and the highest and lowest scores are dropped.

A total score is the addition of flight distance (in meters) and style points.

“It’s a very complicated sport in a span of about 10 seconds,” she said. “Once you’re in the air, you’re done with the hard part. You just have fun flying. It’s my favorite part.

“The feeling of flying is an amazing feeling. Not many people can say that they fly 130 meters in the air.”

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Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months