The U.S. Ski Team’s Sarah Hendrickson won gold in today’s FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Hendrickson flew 106 meters during her first jump to take a 3.3 point lead over longtime rival Sara Takanashi of Japan. Then the skier silenced anyone who would dare to doubt her prowess with a 103.0 meter second jump!
“I can’t even put it into words right now,” said Hendrickson. “I’m so happy. I had confidence on this hill and knew I could have good jumps. But standing at the top before the first round my heart was beating and everything was shaking. I didn’t know if I could pull it off, but, obviously, I put together two good jumps.”
Fellow teammate Jessica Jerome also performed well for Team USA. The skier went 100 meters on her first jump and 98 meters on her second to capture sixth place.
Both Hendrickson and Jerome owe much of their recent success to the world class coaching abilities of Paolo Bernardi. Val di Fiemme, the venue for this year’s FIS Nordic World Ski Championship is actually Bernardi’s home mountain.
“His dad built these ski jumps,” explained Hendrickson. “I’ve had an amazing relationship for the past two years he’s been coaching. To share this with him in his hometown is awesome – no words needed to be exchanged, just hugs and happiness.”
“This is such an emotional day for me,” said Bernardi. “This is my hometown. All of my friends and family were here today. It’s a special day for me.”