The first Olympic gold medal for women’s ski jumping has gone to Germany’s Carina Vogt, while Team USA’s trio of competitors and Japan’s all-world jumper, Sara Takanashi, finished out of the medals altogether on the normal hill.
Vogt, who started ski jumping after watching it on television as a young girl, led the event after the first of two final-round jumps.
On her last, she soared 97.5 meters and earned a score of 120.6 for a two-jump score of 247.4 – enough to beat silver medalist Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria by 1.2 points and bronze medalist Coline Mattel of France by 2.2 points.
Hendrickson, the 2013 world champion, was expected to have a say in the outcome despite just coming back recently from a torn right ACL, MCL, and meniscus that she suffered in an August crash.
But she was not a factor in the end, finishing 21st after a final jump of 91.5 meters led to a score of 217.6 that was behind those of fellow Americans Jessica Jerome (10th, 234.1) and Lindsey Van (15th, 227.2).
She did, however, earn the distinction of being the first woman to ever ski jump in the Olympics.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was that Takanashi, who won the World Cup in 2012-13 and had already earned 10 World Cup wins this season going into Sochi, narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish after a score of 243.0.
WOMEN’S SKI JUMPING – NORMAL HILL FINAL
1. Carina Vogt (GER), 247.4
2. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT), 246.2
3. Coline Mattel (FRA), 245.2
10. Jessica Jerome (USA), 234.1
15. Lindsey Van (USA), 227.2
21. Sarah Hendrickson (USA), 217.6