The International Ski and Snowboard Federation announced that for the first time in 19 years, a Ski Jumping World Cup event will take place on American soil.
Although the official schedule has not been announced, the competition from Feb. 10-12 in Lake Placid, New York, will consist of the top athletes from around the world competing on the Men’s Ski Jumping World Cup.
The World Cup had been hosted by the US previously in 2004 in Park City, Utah, and was in Lake Placid most recently in 1990. The circuit typically has most events held in Europe, but this unique opportunity could help bring more awareness to the sport in the US
Men’s US National Ski Jumping Team member Decker Dean is excited to compete in his home country and share his favorite sport with the rest of the nation.
“It’s going to be huge for our team and USA Nordic in general and, most importantly, I think just the sport of ski jumping in the US,” Dean said. “It’s pretty much a European sport and pretty much all of our competitions are in Europe, so I think to be part of the first World Cup that is going to be in America in the past 19 years is super cool. I’m really looking forward to it and I hope it turns out well.”
The Olympic Jumping Complex at Lake Placid was completely renovated in March with brand new all-weather hills for year-round availability.
Dean is one of the few athletes to have jumped the new Lake Placid hills during a weeklong camp in July.
Dean explained that despite his experience on the hills, he does not see it as a major advantage because ski jumping as a sport is mostly the same anywhere you go.
“The hills are awesome and nobody has jumped the hills except for us, so we’ll definitely have a little bit of an edge going in on the feeling of the hill and everything,” Dean said. “I think the main advantage will be our parents, friends and our country hosting the event will be a motivator.”
Dean will have a couple of opportunities to compete in Lake Placid before the World Cup with the USA Nordic National Championships from Friday, Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 and a Continental Cup event from Oct. 7-9.
These events should give the athletes a chance to familiarize themselves with the new facility and serve as a precursor to the World Cup.
“All of us are just stoked that it’s happening,” Dean said. “Obviously, good results are the main focus, but at the same time, it’s pretty crazy because Lake Placid just built their brand new facility and within a year they are already having a World Cup, so I think in general it’s going to be really cool.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.