Ski jumping World Cup returns to U.S. for first time since 2004

Ski Jumping

Ski Jumping’s top circuit is returning to the United States for the first time in nearly two decades.

The International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) men’s ski jumping World Cup will be held in February in Lake Placid, New York.

Ski jumping’s last World Cup in the U.S. was in 2004 in Park City, Utah. The circuit has not been in North America since 2009 in Vancouver.

“This is a game-changer for our organization,” USA Nordic CEO Adam Provost said “The opportunity to bring in the best ski jumpers in the world to Lake Placid will give our sport a platform for growth that we haven’t had in close to 20 years.”

Organizers were looking for a venue to host the World Cup after they planned to hold the event in Iron Mountain, Michigan, an option that became unfeasible last month.

Lake Placid, which hosted the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics, became an attractive alternative because the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority recently invested millions to make its ski jumping complex world class.

“Having the World Cup back on U.S. soil is very important in developing the sport of Ski Jumping in this country, and across the world,” USA Nordic men’s and women’s ski jumping coach Anders Johnson said.

Only one American, Anders Haugen, has earned an Olympic ski jumping medal and that was at the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Haugen left the Games without any hardware, but 50 years later was awarded bronze after a scoring error was confirmed.

In an attempt to improve the chances the U.S. can compete with the world’s best ski jumpers, USA Nordic Sport began a partnership last month with Norway’s governing body in the sport. American and Norwegian national ski jumping teams will share coaches, training facilities, sports science data and efforts to attract sponsors as part of a four-year agreement.

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Carina Vogt, first Olympic women’s ski jumping champion, retires

Carina Vogt

Carina Vogt, who in 2014 won the first Olympic women’s ski jumping competition, announced her retirement on Friday, according to the German Ski Association.

Vogt, 30, reportedly said injuries over the last two years took away her confidence and risk-taking, leaving her unable to perform at her best.

In 2014, the pre-Olympic hype surrounded Japanese Sara Takanashi and American Sarah Hendrickson. But Vogt, fifth at the 2013 World Championships and a consistent podium finisher in the 2013-14 World Cup (but without a victory), emerged to take gold by 1.2 points over Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz.

Vogt won the next two world titles in 2015 and 2017, then took fifth at the 2018 Olympics. She missed the entire 2019-20 season after suffering a right ACL tear.

She then reportedly underwent knee surgery in March 2021. Vogt returned and competed in two World Cups around New Year’s, finishing 48th and 49th, and was not named to Germany’s four-woman team for the Beijing Games.

Vogt had more combined Olympic and world championships victories (three) than on the annual World Cup tour (two).

In her last international competition two months ago, she won a lower-level Continental Cup in Park City, Utah.

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World’s top ski jumper tests positive for COVID-19

Marita Kramer
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Marita Kramer, the world’s top female ski jumper, tested positive for the coronavirus with no symptoms on Saturday and still plans to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Kramer, 20, tested positive on the same day that she won the penultimate World Cup competition before the Olympics.

The entire Austrian team sat out Sunday’s finale in Willingen, Germany, though Kramer was the only jumper to test positive, according to the Austrian federation.

The Austrian women’s ski jumping team was scheduled to depart on Monday. That will now be postponed at least one day pending Kramer producing negative PCR tests.

The Olympic women’s ski jumping event is on Saturday. Official training begins Thursday.

Kramer, who was born in the Netherlands and moved to Austria at age 6, won 10 of her last 14 individual World Cup starts dating to March.

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Maren Lundby of Norway announced in October that she would not compete this season.

“Ski jumping is a sport with a lot of demands, weight is part of it,” Lundby said then, according to an translation. “My body has changed naturally lately, and for this reason I don’t want to sacrifice everything to be at the best level in Beijing.

“I’m a few kilos too heavy for the highest level. And I’m not willing to do crazy things to change that.”

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