Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ski Jumping

The 20th Olympic Winter Games are held in Torino, Italy these days, Witmore Reans Gazette would like to lead your attention towards Ski Jumping, which clearly doesn`t get the coverage it deserves in the UK. The first Ski Jumping contest ever was held in Trysil, Norway in 1862, and has been part of the Olympic Games since 1924.

The sport is about skiing down a hill with a take-off ramp (the jump), attempting to go as far as possible. In addition to lenght, the referees give points for style, on a scale from 1 to 20. In terms of style, it is imperative to achieve the Telemark Landing, which is the correct way of landing - the skier must land with one foot in front of the other in style of the inventor of Telemark skiing and the man believed to be the first to ever Ski Jump, Sondre Norheim (1825-1897).

Ski Jumping is an old and dignified discipline norwegians have mastered for centuries. That is, until the day in 1991 when the swede Jan Boklov came up with a new technique called the V-technique, where the skis form a V in the air. This new style completely changed the aestethics of the sport, but also made the jumps longer than what had been achieved with the previous technique with parallel skis.

Modern Ski Jumpers make use of helmets and skintight jumpsuits in order to give as little air resistance as possible. The Skis used for Ski Jumping are wide and long.

While Norway are dominating the world of Ski Jumping, the only British athlete ever to have Ski Jumped is Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards, who took part in the 15th Winter Olympic Games (1988) held in Calgary, Canada. Edwards was handicapped by his weight, at about 82 kilos (180 pounds) he was more than 9 kilos (20 pounds) heavier than the next heaviest competitor. He finished last in both the 70 meters and 90 meters events. His poor results were probably due to his glasses, they fogged to such an extent that he could not see. Mr. Edwards was infamously described as a "Ski Dropper" by an italian journalist, but he is a legend in the world of Ski Jumping.

Whitmore Reans Gazette would like to take our norwegian and British readers down Memory Lane for this photo of Birger Ruud, who won an olympic medal in Lake Placid back in 1932.

It used to be such a beautiful sport, Ski Jumping.


Blogger Grillski said...

We all remember Eddie, a man of the people. He made us all believe we could be skijumpers.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Yes everyone loves a loser. I remember when all this Eddie the Eagle stuff was going on. It was like Eaglemania!

1:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home