Persistence pays off for women’s ski jumping with Olympic debut

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Last night’s Olympic debut for women’s ski jumping, won by Germany’s Carina Vogt, came after a long battle to get it onto the world’s biggest sporting stage.

Team USA’s Lindsey Van was a key figure in a lawsuit against the IOC that tried to get the sport into the 2010 Vancouver Games – a lawsuit that failed.

And so, she and the other jumpers had to fight some more until finally, in April 2011, the IOC made the decision to add it to the Olympic program for Sochi.

VIDEO: American ski jumpers reflect on their sport in the Games

Last night, history was made at RusSki Gorki. The Americans finished off the podium but as NBCOlympics.com’s Joe Posnanski writes, they recognized that they had indeed won something very important:

“Lindsey Van was there. Jessica Jerome was there. A younger American, Sarah Hendrickson, was there too (though injured). None of them won a medal. It’s probably too pat to say that they were OK with not making the podium, that they were thrilled just to be at the Olympics. They all wanted a medal.

But, beyond that disappointment, yes, they did grasp the moment. They did understand the bigger achievement here.

“The Olympics,” Van said after finishing 15th. “It’s so cool!”

For more on last night’s event and everything that brought it about, check out Posnanski’s full report.