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First-ever Olympic Women's Ski Jumping team preps in Park City


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PARK CITY — They spent nearly 10 years fighting for the opportunity, but in 95 days, women ski jumpers will compete in the Olympics for the first time.

Two years ago, the International Olympic Committee finally added women's ski jumping to the slate of Olympic sports. And eight women, who are training in Utah, are hoping to make the team.

"It's really exciting that we're real close to Sochi and so close to having the opportunity to compete in the Olympics," said ski jumper Abby Hughes.

Hughes and four other jumpers signed autographs and shook hands this weekend at RC Willey. The Utah furniture company just announced that it will be a major supporter of the USA Women's Ski Jumping team during the Sochi games.

For these athletes, this is crunch time. They're itching to begin jumping again once there's enough snow on the ski jump in Park City, but all summer they've been going through intensive training. A couple weeks ago, they worked on their technique inside a wind tunnel in Ogden.

"We're all excited to hopefully be going to the Olympics," said ski jumper Lindsey Van. "We still all have to make the Olympic team, so we're excited for the opportunity to try."


I'm thinking, right now it's just my job to train hard, and if it comes, it comes, and there's nothing to really be afraid of, because you can just give it your all, and if that's enough, that's great.

–Nina Lussi


Many athletes will say they've been involved in their sport of choice since they were young. But, when you're a little kid, what are the signs that you'll become a ski jumper?

"I jumped on a lot of beds," said ski jumper Jessica Jerome.

Every one of these women did that.

"I think, as a ski jumper, we jump on and off a lot of things growing up," Van said, laughing.

"I jumped on the bed with my brother, and just, off of snowbanks ... whatever we would find, we would jump off of," Hughes said.

Four of the eight hopefuls will make Team USA and compete in Russia in February for the first Olympic medals in the sport.

"I'm thinking, right now it's just my job to train hard, and if it comes, it comes, and there's nothing to really be afraid of," said ski jumper Nina Lussi, "because you can just give it your all, and if that's enough, that's great."

The ski jumping trials will be held in Park City on Sunday, December 29.

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Keith McCord

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