Ski jumping: Wikis


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Ski jumping
Letalnica brothers Gorisek Planica.jpg
Letalnica Bratov Gorišek in Planica, Slovenia
Highest governing body International Ski Federation
First played 19th Century, Morgedal, Norway
Team members Individual or groups
Olympic 2010
Ski jumping facility in Einsiedeln, Switzerland

Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump, and attempt to land the furthest down on the hill below. In addition to the length that skiers jump, judges give points for style. The skis used for ski jumping are wide and long (260 to 275 centimetres (100 to 110 in)). 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.



The Ski Jumping Complex in Pragelato during the 2006 Winter Olympics of Torino


The true sport of ski jumping originates from Morgedal, Norway. Olaf Rye, a Norwegian lieutenant, was the first known ski jumper. In 1809, he launched himself 9.5 metres in the air in front of an audience of other soldiers. By 1862, ski jumpers were tackling much larger jumps and traveling longer. Norway's Sondre Norheim jumped 30 metres over a rock without the benefit of poles. His record stood for three decades. The first proper competition was held in Trysil. The first widely known ski jumping competition was the Husebyrennene, held in Oslo during 1879, with Olaf Haugann of Norway setting the first world record for the longest ski jump at 20 metres.[1] 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:

Normal hill competitions
for which the calculation line is found at approximately 80–100 metres (260–330 ft). Distances of up to and over 110 metres (360 ft) can be reached.
Large hill competitions
for which the calculation line is found at approximately 120–130 metres (390–430 ft). Distances of over 145 metres (476 ft) can be obtained on the larger hills. Both individual and team competitions are run on these hills.
Ski-flying competitions
for which the calculation line is found at 185 metres (607 ft). The Ski Flying World Record of 239 metres (784 ft) is held by Bjørn Einar Romøren, and was set in Planica, Slovenia in March 2005.

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 of the Nordic combined sport.


Summer jumping

Ski jumping can also be performed in the summer on a porcelain track and plastic grass combined with water. There are also many competitions during the summer. The World Cup (Summer Grand Prix) often includes those hills:

Ski jumping Fis-Cup and Continental Cup also have summer competitions and even more than the World Cup.

A ski jumper in Calgary, Canada

Olympic competition

According to the International Olympic Committee's site[2]:

Ski jumping has been part of the Olympic Winter Games since the first Games in Chamonix Mont-Blanc in 1924. The Large Hill competition was included on the Olympic programme for the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

The existence of a men's competition without a women's competition has become a major bone of contention as the field of elite female competitors has grown.

Women's ski jumping

Currently, women ski jump internationally in the Continental cup. On 26 May 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 (IOC) to allow women to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[3]

On 28 November 2006, the proposal for a women's ski jumping event 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.[4] Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee stated that women's ski jumping will not be an Olympic event 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.[5]

It has been noted that while the number of women in ski jumping is not insignificant, the field has a much wider spread in terms of talent, in that the top men are all of a similar level of strength competitively, while the women are more varied, even in the top tiers[6].

A group of 15 competitive female ski jumpers filed a suit against the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) claiming that conducting a men's ski jumping event without a women's event in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 would be in direct violation of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms[7]. The arguments associated with this suit were argued 20 to 24 April 2009 and a judgment came down on June 10, 2009 against the ski jumpers. The judge ruled that although the women were being discriminated against,[8] the issue is a International Olympic Committee responsibility and thus not governed by the charter. It further ruled that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to VANOC.[9] Three British Columbia judges unanimously denied an appeal on November 13, 2009. The American actress and documentary film producer Virginia Madsen has chronicled the Canadian team's efforts in a film called Fighting Gravity (2009).[10]


The winner is decided on a scoring system based on distance, style, inrun length and wind conditions.

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 jumpers land, in the middle of the landing area. This point is marked by the K line on the landing strip. For K-90 and K-120 competitions, the K line is at 90 metres (300 ft) and 120 metres (390 ft) respectively. Skiers are awarded 60 points if they land on the K Line. Skiers not landing on the K Line receive or lose points for every metre (3 ft) they miss the mark by, depending on if they surpass it or fall short, respectively. The value of a metre is determined from the size of the hill.

In addition, five judges are based in a tower to the side of the expected landing point. They can award up to 20 points each for style based on keeping the skis steady during flight, balance, good body position, and landing. The highest and lowest style scores are disregarded, with the remaining three scores added to the distance score. Thus, a perfectly-scored K-120 jump - with at least four of the judges awarding 20 points each - and the jumper landing on the K-point, is awarded a total of 120 points.

In January 2010, a new scoring system was introduced to compensate for variable outdoor conditions. Aerodynamics and take-off speed are important variables that determine the value of a jump, and if weather conditions change during a competition, the conditions will not be equal for everyone and thus unfair. The jumper will now receive or lose points if the inrun length is adjusted. An advanced calculation also determines plus/minus points for the actual wind conditions at the time of the jump. These points are added or withdrawn from the original scores from the jump itself.

In the individual event, the scores from each skier's two competition jumps are combined to determine the winner.


Ski jumpers below the minimum safe body mass index are penalized with a shorter maximum ski length, reducing the aerodynamic lift they can achieve. These rules have been credited with stopping the most severe cases of underweight athletes, but some competitors still lose weight to maximize the distance they can jump. [11]


The ski jump is divided into four separate sections; 1) In-run, 2) Take-off (jump), 3) Flight and 4) Landing. In each part the athlete is required to pay attention to and practice a particular technique in order to maximise the outcome of ultimate length and style marks.

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% 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 to 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 were the standard for ski jumping from the 1950s.

Until the mid 1970s, the Ski jumper would come down the in-run of the hill with both arms pointing forwards. This changed when the former East German Ski jumper Jochen Danneberg introduced the new in-run technique of directing the arms backwards in a more aerodynamic position.

The landing requires the skiers 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. Failure to comply with this regulation will lead to the deduction of style marks (points).


Ski jumping is popular among spectators and TV audiences in Scandinavia and Central Europe. Almost all world-class ski jumpers come from those regions or from Japan. Traditionally, the strongest countries are Finland, Norway, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, 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's, is very popular.

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.

Ski flying

Ski flying is an extreme version of ski jumping. The events take place in big hills with a K-spot of at least 185 metres (607 ft). There are five ski flying hills in the world today: Vikersundbakken in Vikersund, Norway; Oberstdorf, Germany; Kulm, Austria; Letalnica, Planica, Slovenia; and Harrachov, Czech Republic. A sixth hill, Copper Peak in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is currently disused, although there are plans to rebuild it to FIS standards.[12] There are plans for more ski flying hills, even for an indoor ski flying hill in Ylitornio, Finland. The biggest hill is in Planica, where all the longest ski jumps have taken place. It's possible to fly more than 200 metres (660 ft) in all the ski flying hills, and the current World Record is 239 metres (784 ft), set by Norwegian Bjørn Einar Romøren at Planica in 2005. This record was surpassed by Janne Ahonen of Finland at the same competition, but his 240 metres (787 ft) jump was not recognised as Ahonen fell when he landed.

The Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) Ski flying World Championships started in 1972 and have been held on a mainly biennial basis, although there have been several occasions where events were held annually. The 2010 FIS World Championships in skiflying will be organised in Planica, and in 2012 the FIS World Championships will take place in Vikersund, Norway.

Notable ski jumpers


The view from the top of the ski jump in Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2002 Winter Olympics
Ski jumping facility in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Letalnica Bratov Gorišek (outrun)
Letalnica Bratov Gorišek (inrun)

Johan Remen Evensen

Currently active
Country Name
Austria Austria Martin Koch
Andreas Kofler
Gregor Schlierenzauer
Thomas Morgenstern
Wolfgang Loitzl
Czech Republic Czech Republic Jakub Janda
Martin Cikl
Lukas Hlava
Finland Finland Janne Ahonen
Janne Happonen
Matti Hautamäki
Arttu Lappi
Ville Larinto
Veli-Matti Lindström
Harri Olli
Germany Germany Michael Neumayer
Martin Schmitt
Georg Späth
Michael Uhrmann
Andreas Wank
Pascal Bodmer
Japan Japan Noriaki Kasai
Takanobu Okabe
Kazuyoshi Funaki
Daiki Ito
Shohei Tochimoto
Norway Norway Tom Hilde
Anders Jacobsen
Roar Ljøkelsøy
Bjørn Einar Romøren
Sigurd Pettersen
Anders Bardal
Vegard Sklett
Poland Poland Adam Małysz
Kamil Stoch
Stefan Hula
Slovenia Slovenia Robert Kranjec
Jernej Damjan
Primož Peterka
Rok Urbanc
Switzerland Switzerland Andreas Küttel
Simon Ammann
Walter Steiner
Russia Russia Denis Kornilov
Dimitry Vassiliev
France France Emmanuel Chedal
Sweden Sweden Jan Boklöv



Important venues

The largest jump in the world, Letalnica Bratov Gorišek, in Planica, Slovenia
Ski jumping World Cup
Four Hills Tournament
Nordic Tournament

National records

GDR stamp - Memorial for the Skijumper
Rank Nation Record holder Length
1.  Norway Bjørn Einar Romøren 239 metres (784 ft)
2.  Finland Matti Hautamäki 235.5 metres (773 ft)
3.  Austria Gregor Schlierenzauer 233.5 metres (766 ft)
4.  Slovenia Robert Kranjec 229 metres (751 ft)
5.  Russia Dimitri Vassiliev 228 metres (748 ft)
6.  Germany Michael Neumayer 227.5 metres (746 ft)
7.  Switzerland Simon Ammann 225.5 metres (740 ft)
8.  Poland Adam Małysz 225 metres (738 ft)
9.  Japan Daiki Ito 222.5 metres (730 ft)
10.  United States Alan Alborn 221.5 metres (727 ft)
11.  Czech Republic Antonin Hajek 219 metres (719 ft)
12.  France Emmanuel Chedal 215.5 metres (707 ft)
13.  Italy Roberto Cecon 207.5 metres (681 ft)
14.  Sweden Isak Grimholm 207.5 metres (681 ft)
15.  Belarus Petr Chaadaev 197.5 metres (648 ft)
16.  Kazakhstan Radik Zhaparov 196.5 metres (645 ft)
17.  Slovakia Martin Mesik 195.5 metres (641 ft)
18.  Estonia Jens Salumäe 195 metres (640 ft)
19.  Canada Stefan Read 191.5 metres (628 ft)
20.  South Korea Choi Heung-Chul 191 metres (627 ft)
21.  Ukraine Vitaliy Shumbarets 189.5 metres (622 ft)
22.  Bulgaria Petar Fartunov 175 metres (574 ft)
23.  Netherlands Christoph Kreuzer 162 metres (531 ft)
24.  Hungary Gabor Geller 139 metres (456 ft)
25.  Turkey Baris Demirci 123 metres (404 ft)
26.  Kyrgyzstan Dmitry Chvykov 122 metres (400 ft)
27.  Romania Florin Spulber 118 metres (387 ft)
28.  China Tian Zhandong 118 metres (387 ft)
29.  United Kingdom Glynn Pedersen 113.5 metres (372 ft)
30.  Georgia Kakhaber Tsakadze 105 metres (344 ft)
31.  Moldova Filipciuc Ivan 95 metres (312 ft)
32.  Wales Mark Wayne Evans 85.5 metres (281 ft)

Water ski jumping

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 metres (230 ft). 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 75 feet (23 m) line and traditional 35 miles per hour (56 km/h) boat speed is outrun by the skier and the pro skier was ahead of the boat, being held back by the line.

See also


  1. ^ Oslo – Huseby (Ski Jumping Hill Archive)
  2. ^ "Ski Jumping". International Olympic Committe. 
  3. ^ "FIS MEDIA INFO: Decisions of the 45th International Ski Congress in Vilamoura/Algarve (POR)". Fédération Internationale de Ski. 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ IOC approves skicross; rejects women's ski jumping
  5. ^ "Rogge: Women jumpers would dilute Olympics medals". CTV News. 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  6. ^ Christa Case Bryant (2009-11-08). "Why women can't ski jump in the Winter Olympics". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  7. ^ Cindy Chan (2009-04-29). "Female Ski Jumpers Seem Olympic Inclusion". Epoch Times. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  8. ^ Rod Mickelburgh (2009-07-10). "No female flight in 2010: B.C. court rejects ski jump bid". CTV Olympics. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  9. ^ CBC News (2009-07-10). "Female ski jumpers lose Olympic battle". CBC News. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  10. ^ Tatianan Siegel, "Virginia Madsen to defy 'Gravity'", Variety, Apr. 8, 2009
  11. ^ For Ski Jumpers, a Sliding Scale of Weight, Distance and Health
  12. ^ "". 

External links


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