At the legendary Holmenkollen of Norway, Sunday’s event was the first time that men and women jumped together on the same hill and alternated rounds. Rising to the challenge, the female athletes of the US Ski Team had a strong performance at one of the most legendary and prestigious jumping venues in the sport. Sarah Hendrickson flew through the sky and landed on the podium with her fourth World Cup win at the women’s large hill debut and season finale. Soaring over Japanese rival Sara Takanashi, Hendrickson won with a perfect telemark landing of 133.5 meters in large hill but ended up second in the World Cup overall standings behind Takanashi.
Sarah Hendrickson (center) flew to the podium for her fourth World Cup win in women’s large hill| Photo: FIS Ski Jumping
During the second round, Takanashi soared to 133.5 meters but finished with a weak landing and no telemark. Despite the fact that Hendrickson jumped quite a bit shorter at 129m, she executed the jump with much better style and less wind compensation which totaled her points to earn a winning score. Hendrickson has kept the momentum strong by winning back-to-back World Cups this week in Norway, Trondheim on Friday and Holmenkollen on Sunday. Because of her amazing season and dedication to the sport, Hendrickson will be honored by Utah Governor Gary Herbert as Olympian of the Year for 2012 on April 16.
Sarah Hendrickson commented on her performance, “We put on red lipstick to celebrate the season final and show that we’re girls and we’re proud of it. We’ve come a long way with women’s ski jumping. It’s a historical day for us jumping the big hill and we’re proud of it. Winning here just increases the love I have for ski jumping. Every day I just show up to have fun and to have so many people out here to watch the girls competing on the big hill, it’s just awesome. Jumping here today, I can hardly put into words. I love jumping big hills. We’ve been able to train on big hills for the past couple weeks at home, which is what I love. The bigger the hill, the better, for me. Then jumping in front of so many people and with the guys. It’s an amazing experience and I love ski jumping more and more every day. Yeah, wonderful day to remember forever. Yeah, Sara (Takanashi) had wonderful jumps today, as always. Luckily I was able to squeeze it out with style points.”
US Ski Team riders from Park City Lindsey Van, Jessica Jerome, Alissa Johnson and Abby Hughes finished well. Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome placed eighth and ninth respectively overall. Alissa Johnson finished 19th while Abby Hughes followed in 28th place. For the second year in a row since the discipline has been in the World Cup, the Women’s U.S. ski jumping has dominated and has taken the title.
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