PARK CITY, Utah — Three of the top women ski jumpers in the world were nominated today to represent the U.S. on the first-ever Olympic women’s ski jumping team. Lindsey Van, Jessica Jerome, and Sarah Hendrickson will make their historic Winter Games debut on Feb. 11 in Sochi, Russia.
The announcement came during a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association press conference at Utah Olympic Park in Park City where the U.S. women’s ski jumping team lives and trains. After a decade-long push, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games mark the first time a women’s ski jumping event is included at the Olympic level.
Jerome, 26, a 10-time national champion and international leader in the sport, secured her nomination after winning the 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials Dec. 29. Lindsey Van, 29, was the first women’s world champion in ski jumping and was pivotal in getting the sport into the Olympics for women. Sarah Hendrickson, 19, is the reigning world champion and first-ever women’s World Cup circuit champion. She was selected to the team after a promising return to snow following an August knee injury.
“This inaugural Olympic women's ski jumping team has already inspired so many people around the world and will continue to do so for years to come,” said Alan Alborn, head coach for Women’s Ski Jumping USA (WSJ-USA).
“They are strong athletes and strong individuals because of the challenges and hardships they have faced both in the sport and outside of it. They have built this path to the Olympic Games brick-by-brick and they have done most of the heavy lifting.”
Athletes were selected based on World Cup results over a set Olympic qualification period, Olympic Trials performance, and coaches’ discretion. The formal naming of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team by the United States Olympic Committee is set for Jan. 27.
Deedee Corradini, president of WSJ-USA, said families, friends and supporters have been looking forward to this historic moment.
"This is more than just about ski jumping or sport. It's about this team inspiring other women and girls all over the world to follow their dreams and never give up," she said.
Athletes nominated to the men’s U.S. Olympic ski jumping team include Nick Alexander (Lebanon, NH), Nick Fairall (Andover, NH), Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, NY) and Anders Johnson (Park City).
Additional Quotes —
Luke Bodensteiner, Executive Vice President, Athletics, USSA
Today marks an historic occasion. This is a stepping stone along what has been a long journey to include women's ski jumping in the Games. These women have raised the level of athleticism in the sport and because of this, grown their sport to the Olympic level.
Sarah has distinguished herself over the past three seasons as one of the world's top competitors. Her accident in August prevented her from competing in the World Cup, but her subsequent rehab was effective, she's maintained a high level of fitness and her return to the jumping hill has shown us that she's ready to compete at the top end of her sport.
Alan Alborn, Head Coach, Women's Ski Jumping USA
This inaugural event is more than just three medals at an Olympic Winter Games. It is historic and a legacy that we hope will inspire more young women to engage in sport and have it be part of their lives and their family's lives.
CONTACT: Whitney Childers, Communications & Media Director