Olympic Sports >> Ski Jumping

Ski Jumping

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The Competition

Objective

A competition taking place on specially prepared hills in which contestants ski down a steep ramp, building up speed and momentum, before launching themselves off the end. Marks are awarded for distance, style and quality of landing.

3 Events (all for men)

Normal Hill (K90), Large Hill (K120), Team event (K120)

Venue

Whistler Olympic Park

Competition dates

February 12, 13, 19, 20 and 22

The Events

Normal and Large hill

Fifty competitors take one jump to determine 30 finalists. Two jumps in the final are marked by judges with the winner being the man with the highest combined score.

Team event

Each team comprises four members who each take two jumps. The team with the highest combined score after 8 jumps is declared the winner.

Scoring

2 jumps for each competitor: A jump to the K-point is worth 60 points. Each additional metre adds 1.8pts on the Large Hill or is deducted should the skier fall short of the K-point. 2pts is added or deducted on the Normal Hill.

Style

5 judges score each jump out of 20. The highest and lowest scores are discarded to leave a final mark.

Important dates

  • 1860 : First competitive jump completed by Sondre Nordheim of Norway.
  • 1862 : First competition is organised at Trysil, Norway.
  • 1892 : The Norwegian Royal Family finances a festival at Holmenkollen, near Oslo, which is named the Kings Cup.
  • 1924 : Ski jumping appears as an official sport at the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix.
  • 1925 : First world championships take place at Johannisbad, Germany.
  • 1939 : Austria's Josef Bradl becomes the first man to jump over 100 metres.
  • 1951-52 : Creation of the Four Hills Tournament
  • 1964 : The normal hill ski jump appears for the first time as an official sport at the Winter Games in Innsbruck.
  • 1979-80 : World Cup circuit is created.

Stars

Birger Ruud (NOR)

A legend of the sport thanks to a career which spanned 20 years and which brought him all the top honours including two Olympic gold medals (1932, 1936). Born in the Telemark region of Norway, the home of Nordic Skiing, he also won world titles in 1931, 1935 and 1937.

Matti Nykanen (FIN)

Known as the Flying Finn, Nykanen won the large hill world title in 1982 and soared to the Olympic gold in 1984. Four years later, he pulled of an historic achievement by doing the triple at the Calgary Games, winning the normal, large hill and team events. Won four World Cup overall crowns and picked up 46 wins but was undermined by alcohol. Wound up in prison in December 2004 with a 26 month sentence after stabbing a friend during a drunken binge.

Sven Hannawald (GER)

The only man to complete the Grand Slam by winning all four events of the Four Hills Tournament in 2002. Winner of three Olympic medals, gold and silver in team events and silver in the normal hill. Twice winner of the world ski flying championships and only missing a World Cup crown and individual Olympic gold from his honours. Suffered from depression and burnout in recent years.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.