Historic Win for US Ski Team Teen Sarah Hendrickson

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 3, 2011 2:01 pm

Teen Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) soared with the pride of one of women’s ski jumping’s pioneering nations Saturday as she won the inaugural FIS World Cup ski jumping competition for women in Lillehammer, Norway. The 17-year-old scored nearly a 30-point margin of victory over favorite Coline Mattel of France. Hendrickson’s historic win came three seasons after U.S. teammate Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) won the first FIS Nordic Ski World Championship competition for women.


Sarah Hendrickson led the trial round and both competition rounds to win the inaugural FIS World Cup in Lillehammer. Prior to the debut of the World Cup, Hendrickson recorded two wins on the Continental Cup, the highest series in her sport at the time.



“Winning the first World Cup gives me a really good feeling. I did great on my first jump and that was the base for winning,” Hendrickson remarked. Her excitement was contagious: “This is such a great feeling. I’ve enjoyed every second of it.” 


Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) was the next American in 12th: “Overall, the competition went really well today. The hill was perfect for today’s conditions thanks to the organizers and hill crew.” Jerome shared her team’s contentment with Sarah’s win, relaying that Sarah is jumping phenomenally. “Her win was absolutely well deserved and we, as a team, couldn’t be happier for her,” Jerome confirmed.

Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team international coach, Paolo Bernardi, was proud of the girls and their hard work: “This shows we are ready and strong, and we’re thrilled for Sarah [...] Nobody was even close enough to try and beat her today. The second round was a little sketchy because she was a little far forward and her skis were super close to her body in flight.”

However, men and women have not always shared the podium in the World Championships. Women were first included in the Junior World Championships in 2006, and in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in 2009 (American Lindsey Van took gold). 

“It’s really cool mixing with the men. It gave us even more attention,” Hendrickson commented on the subject.



The World Cup will continue in January with events in Germany, Italy, and Poland.

For official results, see: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=JP&raceid=3379