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Ski jumping

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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 held in Husebybakken, Oslo, in 1879. The yearly event was moved to Holmenkollen from 1892, and Holmenkollen has remained the Mecca of ski jumping ever since.


A ski jumper in Calgary, Canada.
A ski jumper in Calgary, Canada.

Today, World Cup ski jumping competitions are held on three types of hills:

  • "Normal hill" (or K90), which is 90 m high. Distances of up to 110 metres are reached.
  • "Large hill" (or K120), which is 120 m high. The maximum distance is about 140 metres. Both individual and team competitions are run on this hill.
  • "Ski-flying hill", on which distances of up to 240 metres have been reached.

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.

Women ski jumping

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. [1] 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 ski jumping has yet to be fully established internationally. [2]


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. This point is marked by the K line on the landing strip. For K90 and K120 competitions, the K line is at 90m and 120m 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).

The view from the top of the ski jump in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The view from the top of the ski jump in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

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-level 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 1950's, Andreas Daescher of Switzerland modified the Kongsberger technique by placing his arms backward toward his hips for a more closer lean. The Daescher technique would be standard for ski jumping from the 1950's until the V-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 and Central Europe. 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 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 practising 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.

So-called ski flying events are held on particularly large ramps (such as the one in Planica, Slovenia, or the Kulm, Austria). The current ski flying world record, set by Bjørn Einar Romøren on March 20, 2005 in Planica, stands at distance of 239 meters.

Notable ski jumpers

Former World Cup ski jumpers

  • Per Bergerud (Norway)
  • Jan Boklöv (Sweden)
  • Sepp Bradl (Austria)
  • Espen Bredesen (Norway)
  • Andreas Daescher (Switzerland)
  • Matjaž Debelak (Yugoslavia/Slovenia)
  • Christof Duffner (West Germany/Germany)
  • Andreas Felder (Austria)
  • Kazuyoshi Funaki (Japan)
  • Andreas Goldberger (Austria)
  • Lars Grini (Norway)
  • Sven Hannawald (Germany)
  • Anton Innauer (Austria)
  • František Jež (Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic)
  • Veikko Kankkonen (Finland)
  • Armin Kogler (Austria)
  • Mark Konopacke (USA)
  • Florian Liegl (Austria)
  • Jiří Malec (Czechoslovakia)
  • Toni Nieminen (Finland)
  • Ari-Pekka Nikkola (Finland)
  • Mike Holland (USA)
  • Matti Nykänen (Finland)
  • Jiří Parma (Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic)
  • Franci Petek (Yugoslavia/Slovenia)
  • Jeff Hastings (USA)
  • Pavel Ploc (Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic)
  • Jari Puikkonen (Finland)
  • Jiří Raška (Czechoslovakia)
  • Helmut Recknagel (East Germany)
  • Birger Ruud (Norway)
  • Jaroslav Sakala (Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic)
  • Jani Soininen (Finland)
  • Walter Steiner (Switzerland)
  • Dieter Thoma (West Germany / Germany)
  • Primož Ulaga (Yugoslavia/Slovenia)
  • Ernst Vettori (Austria)
  • Jens Weissflog (East Germany/Germany)
  • Bjørn Wirkola (Norway)

Currently active

  • Janne Ahonen (Finland)
  • Simon Ammann (Switzerland)
  • Lars Bystøl (Norway) [Note: Sometimes written as "Bystoel"]
  • Janne Happonen (Finland)
  • Matti Hautamäki (Finland)
  • Martin Höllwarth (Austria)
  • Jakub Janda (Czech Republic)
  • Noriaki Kasai (Japan)
  • Andreas Kofler (Austria)
  • Andreas Küttel (Switzerland)
  • Roar Ljøkelsøy (Norway) [Note: Sometimes written as "Ljoekelsoey"]
  • Wolfgang Loitzl (Austria)
  • Adam Małysz (Poland)
  • Thomas Morgenstern (Austria)
  • Primož Peterka (Slovenia)
  • Sigurd Pettersen (Norway)
  • Bjørn Einar Romøren (Norway) [Note: Sometimes written as "Romoeren"]
  • Andreas Widhölzl (Austria)
  • Martin Schmitt (Germany)

Notable unsuccessful ski jumpers

  • Vinko Bogataj - Best known as "The Agony of Defeat" because the constant use of footage of his spectacular tumble in the title sequence of ABC's Wide World of Sports
  • Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards - Popular favourite at the 1988 Winter Olympics

Important venues

Ski jumping World Cup

Memorial for the Skijumper
Memorial for the Skijumper
  • Engelberg, Switzerland
  • Harrachov, Czech Republic
  • Kulm, Austria
  • Kuusamo, Finland
  • Liberec, Czech Republic
  • Planica, Slovenia
  • Sapporo, Japan
  • Trondheim (Granåsen), Norway
  • Vikersund (Vikersundbakken), Norway
  • Willingen, Germany
  • Zakopane, Poland

Four Hills Tournament

  • Innsbruck (Bergisel), Austria
  • Oberstdorf, Germany
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • Bischofshofen, Austria

Nordic Tournament

  • Lahti, Finland
  • Kuopio (Puijo), Finland
  • Lillehammer (Lysgårdsbakkene), Norway
  • Oslo (Holmenkollen), Norway

See also

  • Skiing and Skiing Topics
  • Ski jumping World Cup
  • Ski flying

External links

  • Ski Jumping USA - Most heavily used english language ski jumping website
  • International Ski Federation - international governing body
  • Women Ski Jumping USA - site dedicated to women ski jumpers and the fight to be included in the Winter Olympic Games
  • Olympic Ski Jumping History - ski jumping history
  • Czech ski jumping videos archive - Currently the only one active video archive of ski jumping videos
  • Ski Jumping Pics - crash & landing pics, wallpapers and autographs

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 skiier when he is on the jump ramp.) Skiers towed behind a boat at fixed speed, manoever to achieve the maximum speed when hitting a ramp floating in the water, launching themselves into the air with the goal of travelling as far as possible before touching the water. Professional ski jumpers can travel up to 70 metres. The skier must successfully land and retain control of the ski rope to be awarded the distance.

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