Sports » Features

Ski jumpers put hills to the test

by

comment

The world's top ski jumpers will be at Whistler Olympic Park this weekend for a pair of individual, long hill events.
The action starts on Friday with official training from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., followed by the qualifier at 1 p.m.
On Saturday, jumpers will make their trial round at 9:30 a.m., followed by their first round of jumps at 10:30 a.m. and their second round at 11:30 a.m. Sunday is identical to Saturday, with another three medals to give out.
All the jumps take place on the HS 140 jump, which is a hill with a K point at 125 metres - look for the solid red line between blue and red markers on the side of the course. The athletes are scored on each jump - 20 points for landing on the K line, and can earn 0.8 extra points for every metre they go past the mark. Similarly they have 0.8 points deducted for every metre they fall short.
There are five judges watching the event who also give marks for style, with 20 for a perfect jump and small deductions for things like form in the air, form on landing, how straight they fly, and so on.
At the end of the jump, the highest and lowest judged scores are thrown out and the scores of the top three judges are added together to give a total score for the jump. For example, a jump that lands on the K line with perfect style will score 40 from each judge, times three for a total score of 120.
The score for the first and second jumps are added together, which determines the overall rankings.
Because snow changes from day to day, event officials set the gate location on the ramp to be optimal in terms of hitting the K line. The goal is to let jumpers go for distance without risking the possibility that they will land too far below the K line, where the landing hill begins to flatten out.
The event is free to the public. If the crowds at the cross-country competition are any indication then parking will extend to the overflow lots. However there is a free shuttle that brings in spectators from the overflow lots. There is also a $15 shuttle from the village to Whistler Olympic Park offered by Whistler Glacier Group. Visit www.nordicfestival.com for more details.
The Canadian team does not currently compete on the World Cup circuit, but have been qualifying for spots on the Continental Cup circuit. Canadian athletes to watch for include Stefan Read, Trevor Morrice, Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes and Eric Mitchell.

Add a comment