Sarah Hendrickson had already wrapped up the inaugural World Cup overall title last weekend in Zao, Japan, but she continued to jump strong in the season’s final competition in Oslo, Norway. She jumped 104 and 99 meters to secure a first place victory and finish out the season. Hendrickson topped rival Sara Takanashi who took second and managed to set a hill record of 108 meters on her second jump. Norway’s star jumper Anette Sagen occupied third place. She barely edged out fellow veteran Lindsey Van who had to settle for fourth.
The entire U.S. Women’s team continued to ski strong with Jessica Jerome taking 13th, Abby Hughes in 27th, and Alissa Johnson finishing in 34th.
“Every jump is a blast,” said Hendrickson, the 17-year-old from Park City, Utah, who will come home with the coveted crystal globe trophy. “Sure, there’s always some pressure — it’s the World Cup — but everyone went into this last competition to have fun and do their best. I was relieved when I landed on the last jump and all of a sudden, the season was over just like that.”
Over a year ago in Oslo, women ski jumping teams from around the world had to battle nearly zero visibility due to fog and unpredictable winds during the 2011 World Ski Jumping Championships. It was a significant event as it was their opportunity to prove to the International Olympic Committee that they belonged in the Olympic Winter Games. As most of you already know, they were successful and we’ll be seeing the girls in the Games for the first time in Sochi, Russia, in 2014!
More than a year ago in Oslo, women ski jumpers from around the world fought through the nearly impossible conditions of thick fog and unpredictable wind in the 2011 World Ski Jumping Championships. They had to prove to the International Olympic Committee that they belonged in the Olympic Winter Games. And they did. Women will ski jump in the Games for the first time in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
This season was even sweeter for the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team, which finished the season No. 1 overall by more than 600 points over Germany.
“It hasn’t set in yet. It’s just really so cool, especially for ski jumping in the USA — we’re just not known for that,” Van said. “This is about an entire team’s results over the course of a season and I’m proud of our team for this victory.”
Women’s Ski Jumping USA International Coach Paolo Bernardi, is amazed by his team’s performance.
“I think that I’m going to realize this season in one month because I have too many emotions (now)…” he said. “This winter, everything was perfect – just perfect. And I want to enjoy this moment.”
Hendrickson won the World Cup opener in December in Lillehammer, Norway, and Friday’s first-place was her 9th win out of 13 competitions.
Arline Bownes, Hendrickson’s 81-year-old grandmother, was in the crowd Friday, watching her ski jump for the first time in eight years. Hendrickson was just 9 years old the last time her grandmother got to watch her soar on a jump — one that Hendrickson’s father, Bill, actually helped build in his youth in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
“It’s so memorable to have Sarah’s grandmother here,” Nancy Hendrickson said. “My father is gone, but I know dad has been on Sarah’s wings this whole season.”
World Cup Final
Friday, March 9, 2012
Women’s Normal Hill, HS106, K-point 95m
1. Sarah Hendrickson, USA, (104.0m 99m) 254.1 points
2. Sara Takanashi, JPN, (100.5 108.0) 250.7
3. Anette Sagen, (102.0 97) 236.2
4. Lindsey Van, USA, (97.5 98.0) 232.9
5. Daniela Iraschko, AUT, (101.5 96.5) 230.5
6. Jacqueline Seifriedsberger, AUT, (101.0 97.0) 229.5
13. Jessica Jerome, USA (92.5 90.0) 201.3
27. Abby Hughes, USA (86.5 91.0) 178.4
34. Alissa Johnson, USA, (83.5) 83.9
Overall Individual World Cup Standings 2011/2012
1. Sarah Hendrickson, USA, 1,169
2. Daniela Iraschko, AUT, 779
3. Sara Takanashi, JPN, 639
4. Ulrike Graessler, GER, 546
5. Lindsey Van, USA, 482
6. Anette Sagen, NOR, 454
7. Katja Pozun, SLO, 422
8. Melanie Faisst, GER, 409
9. Jessica Jerome, USA, 395
10. Coline Mattel, FRA, 328
25. Abby Hughes, USA, 109
31. Alissa Johnson, USA, 73
Overall Nations World Cup Standings 2011/2012
(points, top 6)
1. United States, 2,228
2. Germany, 1,601
3. Japan, 1,251
4. Austria, 1,173
5. Slovenia, 934
6. Norway, 828