Sarah Hendrickson, the seventeen-year-old ski jumping sensation has made history once again by clinching the overall title in the inaugural World Cup season for women’s ski jumping. The season began with the young athlete’s debut World Cup win, and continued throughout the season with record-breaking performances at every turn, and consistent podium finishes.
After the competition Sarah spoke to this monumental victory, “I wanted to follow the path of Lindsey Van who won the first World Championship gold. I’m proud to have achieved something the first individual World Cup victory and the first overall World Cup title.” She went on to say, “I know that this is a historical moment but I will need months or even years to realize what it really means.”
Hendrickson kicked off Saturday’s competition with a huge 1st place win with a 99.5-meter jump! She then continued the streak going into an extremely rare second event to take the runner up spot. Hendrickson soared 95.5 meters but Japan’s Sara Takanashi pulled out all the stops with a 102.5-meter jump that simultaneously earned her a hill record. The day’s performance has given Hendrickson an insurmountable 295-point margin over Austrian Daniela Iraschko.
“It’s pretty crazy and I don’t know how to put it into words. I knew I had to jump really well and that Sara (Takanashi) was catching up to me for the overall. I felt a lot of pressure, but that’s why I love ski jumping”, said Hendrickson.
It was a strong day for Women’s Ski Jumping USA with Jessica Jerome sixth, Lindsey Van eighth
There are just two events left in the season. For this weekend, a third event is scheduled for Sunday before the team leaves Zao and heads to Oslo, Norway for a finale event. The Oslo competition will coincide with the Holmenkollen Ski Festival where Sarah Hendrickson will be presented with the very first crystal globe! There is no question that the young ski jumper has earned this prestigious honor. She has absolutely smashed the competition this season; winning seven of 11 World Cups and taking second place three times.
Hendrickson won the World Cup opener in December in Lillehammer, Norway, becoming the first woman ever to win an International Ski Federation World Cup competition. Women ski jumpers have competed on the lower-tier Continental Cup for seven years. In 2010, the FIS approved a World Cup circuit for women to debut in the 2011/2012 season. And after a long-fought battle, women will be allowed to ski jump in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games for the first time.
“To have an athlete sustain that high level of jumping from the first World Cup of the season to now is, well, incredible”, said Alan Alborn, head coach for Women’s Ski Jumping USA and former World Cup competitor and Olympian
The U.S. women’s team is No. 1 in the world — thanks to wins by Hendrickson and consistent podiums, and top-10 and top-25 results from teammates Lindsey Van, Jessica Jerome, Abby Hughes and Alissa Johnson. These dynamic female athletes will most likely win the overall team title for the United States — further solidifying our nation as a dominating force throughout the international ski community.