”Here goes something, I guess”, says 10-year old Zia Terry, hesitantly, moments before launching a 40 meter ski jump for her first time. That simple phrase captures perfectly the thoughts of any skier or snowboarder who has ever pushed their limits on the mountain, be it a first jump, first black diamond, first rail, or even that very first ride down the bunny slope. She has done it, has won, and lets out a joyous “WOOOHOOOO” to let everyone know how excited she is! What she doesn’t know at that moment is the significance her helmet mounted video will take on once her mom decides to post it on Youtube.
The video has received 1.3 million views thus far, and also coverage about Zia’s story by CNN. Ski Jumping, in which skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump and attempt to land as far as possible down the hill below, and which Zia conquered her biggest jump to date in, had been the only discipline in the Winter Olympics which did not have an event for women. It has been a ten year battle, but in the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter olympic Games, women will finally be able to compete.
On Thursday, five of the Number 1 Ranked Women’s Ski Jumping Team and coaches suprised Zia at Utah Olympic Park to
make her an “Honorary Junior Team Member” and gave her a Women’s Ski Jumping USA certificate, team jacket, signed competition bib, Ready to Fly DVD, and signed posters. The Visa Women’s Ski Jumping team includes No. 1-ranked Sarah Hendrickson, 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van, 8-time U.S. National Champion Jessica Jerome, Abby Hughes, Alissa Johnson, Nita Englund, Nina Lussi and Emilee Anderson. The team coaches are Alan Alborn and Paolo Bernardi.
“We just want to thank Zia for bringing worldwide attention to girls who ski jump,” said Jessica Jerome, an eight-time national champion and the ninth-ranked ski jumper in the world. “She has inspired us and obviously her video has touched so many people around the world.”
Zia told the media that she loves ski jumping “because you can fly in the air without an engine” and hopes to one day be an Olympian in either ski jumping or ski racing. With the 40 meter jump down at the age of 10, lets hope she keeps progressing and one day brings home the gold in ski jumping!
Zia also got a little advice from 17-yr-old Sarah Hendrickson (in photo with Zia on the right) who has been killing it all season, capturing the overall World Cup title and also bringing home the coveted Crystal Globe. “Keep working on ski jumping — it’s awesome. I was 13 years old when I tried the 90-meter jump. You can do it too — you’re just three years away,” Hendrickson said.
Check out the helmet cam footage from Zia’s epic 40 meter jump below.