PARK CITY, Utah — Nina Lussi and Emilee Anderson will represent the U.S. in the 2014 Junior World Ski Jumping Championships this month in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
This will mark Lussi’s 6th appearance since 2009 at Junior Worlds and it will be Anderson’s second. Lussi and Anderson are both up-and-coming athletes on the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team. The individual women’s event will take place Tuesday, Jan. 28.
“The level of women's ski jumping as an overall package has made an enormous amount of progress over the past five years,” said Lussi, 19. “I am fortunate enough to be moving along with the sport in the right direction.”
The Lake Placid native recently graduated from Skigymnasium Stams, in Stams, Tirol, Austria — a specialized school that focuses on balancing skiing and academics. She then moved to Park City, Utah to train full-time with the Visa Team. She made her World Cup debut last season. Lussi has 10 top-15 results on the Continental Cup circuit and placed 4th in the U.S. National Championships in 2013 on the normal hill.
“Jumping on the World Cup circuit shows me exactly what I am up against. Although this is technically a ‘junior’ competition, this is Olympic-caliber and I am ready to take on the challenge,” Lussi said.
Anderson, 18, of Eau Claire, Wisc. goes into Junior Worlds with the confidence of an impressive 5th-place finish in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Dec. 29 in Park City, Utah. She notched a 17th place in 2013 Continental Cup competition in Notodden, Norway and placed 9th in the first ever Youth Olympic Winter Games in 2012.
“I’m really looking forward to Junior Worlds,” Anderson said. “I placed 29th last year so I’m hoping to improve even more. The atmosphere is amazing and I know it’s going to be a great competition.”
This year’s team represents two of the most promising juniors in the U.S., said Alan Alborn, head coach and athletic program manager for Women’s Ski Jumping USA.
Bine Norcic, men’s ski jumping coach and international trainer, will led this year’s Junior Worlds team in Val di Fiemme. Sitting out this year is World Champion Sarah Hendrickson, 19, who will stay at home rehabbing from a knee injury and working toward the goal of making the U.S. Olympic Team.
EVENT: Individual women’s event, normal hill (HS106), will take place Jan. 28, 2014.