Sarah Hendrickson, a 17-year-old from Park City, Utah, is headed into the 2012 Junior World Ski Jumping Championships in Erzurum, Turkey this week. After winning two World Cup events and one Continental Cup even in the last two weeks, she’s eager to see her winning streak continue.
She will be joined by Nita Englund and Nina Lussi–Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team members—and will represent the U.S. in the jumping competition this Thursday, February 23rd.
In her fifth Junior Worlds, Hendrickson will be working hard to beat her Worlds career best of bronze. Englund and Lussi are hoping to gain more experience and improve on their past results as well. This season, Hendrickson has won six of nine FIS World Cup events and is currently is 1st in the overall standings with four events left to go.
“We’re really excited to compete on the hill. We’ve heard it is awesome,” Hendrickson said. “It’s a little bigger hill – K95 — which fits my style better. I just need to stay focused and concentrate on my technique and push away the pressure that will certainly be there.”
For Englund, a 19-year-old who grew up jumping in Iron Mountains, MI, this will be her third time at Junior Worlds.
“I’m not going to get nervous about it,” she said. “I’m just going to go for it,” she said.
Lussi is 17 years old, from Lake Placid, New York, and goes to school in Tirol, Austria at a place that emphasizes balances skiing and academics. This will be her fourth appearance in the competition.
“Our team for Junior Worlds is very, very strong,” said Visa Team International Coach Paolo Bernardi. “For Sarah the goal is the Gold medal. The challengers will be Japan’s Sara Takanashi and Slovenian Katja Pozun, but neither of them has beaten Sarah during this season.”
This is only the second year the women’s team event is on the program at the Junior World Ski Jumping Championships. It was canceled last year due to unfavorable weather. Unfortunately, the U.S. will not be competing because four athletes are required, and only three American women will be jumping in Turkey.
The World Cup women’s tour will take athletes to Zao, Japan on March 3-4. And the World Cup final has been set for March 9 in Oslo, Norway.
“I’m looking forward to testing out this new hill, “ Lussi said. “We have a strong team here and we’re going to show the world what we’ve got.”