Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers go down an "inrun" with a take-off ramp (the jump), attempting to go as far as possible. In addition to the length that skiers jump, judges give points for style. The skis used for ski jumping are wide and long (240 to 270 cm). Ski jumping is predominantly a winter sport, performed on snow, and is part of the Winter Olympic Games, but can also be performed in summer on artificial surfaces (porcelain or frost rail track on the inrun, plastic on the landing hill).
Ski jumping originates from Morgedal, Norway, but the first proper competition was held in Trysil in 1862. The first widely known ski jumping competition was the Husebyrennene, held in Oslo from 1879. The annual event was moved to Holmenkollen from 1892, and Holmenkollen has remained the pinnacle of ski jumping venues.
Today, World Cup ski jumping competitions are held on three types of hills:
Amateur and junior competitions are held on smaller hills.
Individual Olympic competition consists of a training jump and two scored jumps. The team event consists of four members of the same nation who have two jumps each.
Ski jumping is one of the two elements in the Nordic combined sport.
Currently, women ski jump internationally in the Continental cup. On May 26, 2006, the International Ski Federation decided to allow women to ski jump at the 2009 Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic and then to have a team event for women at the 2011 world championships. FIS also decided to submit a proposal to the International Olympic Committee to allow women to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. On November 28, 2006, the proposal was rejected by the Executive Board of the IOC. The reason for the rejection cited the low number of athletes as well as few participating countries in the sport. The Executive Board noted that women's ski jumping has yet to be fully established internationally. Currently there are 135+ athletes competing on an international level, which is more than snowcross and ski cross. Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee states that they don't allow women ski jumpers in the Olympics because "We do not want the medals to be diluted and watered down," referring to the relatively small number of potential competitors in women's ski jumping. Meanwhile, the current record holder on Vancouver's 90m Olympic hill is US female jumper Lindsey Van. However this hill record was set with more inrun speed and with more wind than the men competed with. These two differences are a considerable advantage in ski jumping.
The winner is decided on a scoring system based on distance and style.
Each hill has a target called the calculation point (or K point) which is a par distance to aim for. It is also the place where many jumper land, in the middle of the landing area. This point is marked by the K line on the landing strip. For K90 and K120 competitions, the K line is at 90 m and 120 m respectively. Skiers are awarded 60 points if they land on the K Line. For every metre short/beyond this average, jumpers receive fewer/more points than the par 60 (1.8 points per metre).
In addition, five judges are based in a tower that lies to the side of the expected landing point. They can award up to 20 points for style based on: keeping the skis steady during flight, balance, good body position and landing.
The final score consists of the distance score plus the middle three style scores from the judges (the highest and lowest scores are ignored). For the individual event, the jumper with the best combined total from his two jumps is the winner.
Using the modern V-technique, pioneered by Jan Boklöv of Sweden in 1985, world-class skiers are able to exceed the distance of the take-off hill by about 10 percent compared to the previous technique with parallel skis. Aerodynamics has become a factor of increasing importance in modern ski jumping, with recent rules addressing the regulation of ski jumping suits. This follows a period when loopholes in the rules seemed to favour skinny jumpers in stiff, air foil-like suits.
Previous techniques first included the Kongsberger technique, developed in Kongsberg, Norway by two ski jumpers, Jacob Tullin Thams and Sigmund Ruud following World War I. This technique had the upper body bent at the hip, a wide forward lean, and arms extended the front with the skis parallel to each other. It would lead to jumping length going from 45 meters to over 100 meters. In the 1950s Andreas Daescher of Switzerland and Erich Windisch of Germany modified the Kongsberger technique by placing his arms backward toward his hips for a closer lean. The Daescher technique and Windisch technique would be standard for ski jumping from the 1950s until the V-style technique was developed in 1985.
The skiers have to touch the ground in the Telemark landing style. This involves the jumper landing with one foot in front of the other, mimicking the style of the Norwegian inventors of Telemark skiing. Otherwise the style points will be reduced.
Ski jumping is popular among spectators and TV audiences in Scandinavia, Central Europe and Finland. Almost all world-class ski jumpers come from those regions or from Japan. Traditionally, the strongest countries (with consistently strong teams) are Finland, Norway, Germany (formerly both East and West), Austria, Poland, Slovenia and Japan. However, there have always been successful ski jumpers from other countries as well (see list below). The Four Hills Tournament, held annually at four sites in Bavaria (Germany) and Austria around New Year, is very popular and draws huge crowds.
There have been attempts to spread the popularity of the sport by finding ways by which the construction and upkeep of practicing and competition venues can be made easier. These include plastic "fake snow" to provide a slippery surface even during the summer time and in locations where snow is a rare occurrence.
|Czech Republic||Jakub Janda|
|Bjørn Einar Romøren|
|Poland||Stefan Hula, Jr.|
|1.||Bjørn Einar Romøren||239 meters|
|2.||Matti Hautamäki||235.5 meters|
|3.||Gregor Schlierenzauer||233.5 meters|
|4.||Robert Kranjec||229 meters|
|5.||Dimitri Vassiliev||228 meters|
|6.||Michael Neumayer||227.5 meters|
|7.||Adam Małysz||225 meters|
|8.||Daiki Ito||222.5 meters|
|9.||Andreas Küttel||222 meters|
|10.||Alan Alborn||221.5 meters|
|11.||Antonin Hajek||219 meters|
|12.||David Lazzaroni||212 meters|
|13.||Roberto Cecon||207.5 meters|
|14.||Isak Grimholm||207.5 meters|
|15.||Petr Chaadaev||197.5 meters|
|16.||Radik Zhaparov||196.5 meters|
|17.||Martin Mesik||195.5 meters|
|18.||Jens Salumäe||195 meters|
|19.||Stefan Read||191.5 meters|
|20.||Heung Chul Choi||191 meters|
|21.||Oleksander Lasarovich||178.5 meters|
|22.||Christoph Kreuzer||162 meters|
|23.||Gabor Geller||139 meters|
|24.||Baris Demirci||123 meters|
|25.||Dmitry Chvykov||122 meters|
|26.||Zhandong Tian||121.5 meters|
|27.||Florin Spulber||118 meters|
|28.||Petar Fartunov||116.5 meters|
|29.||Glynn Pedersen||113.5 meters|
|30.||Kakhaber Tsakadze||105 meters|
|31.||Josip Sporer||102 meters|
|32.||Andreas Bjelke Nygaard||100.5 meters|
|33.||Skarphedinn Gudmundsson||64 meters|
|34.||Hal Nerdal||53 meters|
|35.||Kristaps Laganovski||52 meters|
|36.||Dunstan Odeke||50 meters|
|37.||Richard Brown||35 meters|
The ski jump is performed on two long skis similar to those a beginner uses, with a specialized tailfin that is somewhat shorter and much wider (so it will support the weight of the skier when he is on the jump ramp.) Skiers towed behind a boat at fixed speed, maneuver to achieve the maximum speed when hitting a ramp floating in the water, launching themselves into the air with the goal of traveling as far as possible before touching the water. Professional ski jumpers can travel up to 70 meters. The skier must successfully land and retain control of the ski rope to be awarded the distance. An extreme version of this sport named Ski Flying was promoted by Scot Ellis and Jim Cara, in which boat speeds and ramp heights are boosted because physics have proved that the standard 75ft line and traditional 35mph boat speed is outrun by the skier and the pro skier was ahead of the boat, being held back by the line.