Teen sensation Sarah Hendrickson will lead a pack of U.S. female ski jumpers to the first Olympic competition in the sport's history at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. After the long-awaited addition into the Olympic program, the U.S. Women's Ski Jumping Team has established itself as a true contender for an Olympic gold medal.
The 2012 season marked the inaugural world cup season for women’s ski jumping, with Hendrickson winning nine out of 13 world cups to secure the overall world cup title. Later in the season, the U.S. team further solidified its dominance, winning the Nation's Cup in front of a packed stadium in Oslo, Norway.
Favorite athletes to watch include world cup leader Hendrickson, along with 2009 world champion Lindsey Van. This season, Hendrickson has already been on top of the world cup podium, and Van has tallied numerous top-10 finishes. The U.S. women established themselves as the ones to watch at the Sochi Games, and the world surely will be watching.
Olympic jumping events will be held at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center in the mountain cluster during the Games. The complex holds 7,500 spectators and is comprised of the latest Olympic K-95 and K-125 ski jumps. The U.S. is already familiar with the new complex, as Team USA competed in an Olympic test event in December 2012. Hendrickson soared to victory on day one of competition, and on day two, the U.S. had three women finish in the top 10.
- Men’s ski jumping has been a part of the Olympic program since the Chamonix 1924 Olympic Winter Games; however, the Sochi Games will mark the first time women's ski jumping will be on the Olympic program. Women’s world championships have been held since 2009, and have thus far marked the highest level of competition for women’s ski jumping.
- Sarah Hendrickson is a prodigy in ski jumping. The teen sensation won nine of the 13 world cup titles in 2012, and her success has continued into the 2013 season.
- With the recent success of the U.S. women’s ski jumpers, Team USA will be a favorite heading into the Sochi Games. The U.S. recently won the 2012 Nation’s Cup and Sarah Hendrickson dominated the 2012 World Cup circuit.
ATHLETES TO WATCH
Still a teenager, Hendrickson has already made quite a mark in her sport. As a 13-year-old, she medaled on the large hill at the U.S. championships. At age 14, she won a FIS Continental Cup. The following year, she was a junior worlds medalist. In 2012, the 17-year-old Park City, Utah, native opened the inaugural FIS World Cup season for women’s ski jumping with a win on the Olympic jump in Lillehammer, Norway.
As an internationally recognized leader in her sport, world champion Lindsey Van has made a mark globally both as an athlete and advocate. Inspired as a young girl by the new Olympic jumps in Park City, Utah, she rose to prominence and captured gold in the debut world championships for women’s ski jumping in 2009. With over 40 Continental Cup podiums, she is one of the most successful athletes in her sport.
Each country can qualify a maximum of nine quota spots (five men, four women) for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, with up to four athletes in each event. The allocation of quotas is based on the Olympic Quota Allocation List, which is calculated using the FIS World Cup and Grand Prix standings, followed by the Continental Cup standings from the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons combined. The qualification period ends on Jan. 19, 2014 with a total of 100 quota spots up for grabs (70 men, 30 women).
Selection criteria for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be available in May 2013.
|Feb. 8-10||FIS Ski Jumping World Cup||Zao, Japan|
|Feb.15-17||FIS Ski Jumping World Cup||Ljubno, Slovenia|
|Feb. 20-March 3||World Championships||Val di Fiemme, Italy|
|March 14-15||FIS Ski Jumping World Cup||Trondheim, Norway|
|March 16-17||FIS Ski Jumping World Cup||Oslo, Norway|
|December||Olympic Trials (possible)||TBD|
|January||Olympic Team announcement|