Ski jumps: Lindvik wins Sunday competition
USA's Larson places 16th on Saturday
Lindvik, 20, jumped 133.5 meters (438 feet) in his second jump after a 124.5 meter (408 feet) jump on his first attempt to garner 271.6 points.
Sunday’s win was Lindvik’s seventh of the Continental Cup season. He also won last year at Pine Mountain.
“For some athletes it can really get some self-confidence jumping on this hill especially with the headwind,” Lindvik said.
Markus Schiffner of Austria took second with 270.1 points on jumps of 124.5 and 136 meters (446 feet). He was also third during Saturday’s second competition.
Pius Paschke of Germany won Saturday’s first competition with 265.6 points with jumps of 128.5 and 139 meters (456 feet).
Thomas Aasen Markeng of Norway won the second competition with 270 points on jumps of 129.5 and 134 meters (440 feet).
Markeng, 18, competed in the International Ski Federation Junior World Championships two weeks ago in Finland where he won his first competition in the first round and then two second-place finishes after. He placed third in the first competition at Pine Mountain Saturday and fifth on Sunday.
“It was real amazing,” Markeng said. “There were many people. Jumping the hill — amazing hill. When you come out you can fly and it’s real amazing.”
Casey Larson, who competed in last year’s Winter Olympics, led the United States’ with a 25th-place finish Sunday. He took 16th place in Saturday’s first competition, the best finish of his Continental Cup career.
With four months of competition happening predominantly across Europe, the Continental Cup’s lone stop in the US is a welcoming time for American ski jumpers, coach Gan Druzina said.
“It’s great for US boys to have an event like this at home, so they can spend more time back in their home country with their families,” Druzina said. “They can return home and spend a few days there. It’s just easier for their heads and the rest of the season coming back home instead of spending four days in Europe.
“They’re all very thrilled when they come back. Season’s long and after a few months away from home, it’s difficult and you need to be really motivated. Coming back here is really helpful.”
Larson made history as the 100,000th male athlete to compete in the Olympics (summer and winter). It’s the kind of weekend, especially for US ski jumpers, that could redefine their season moving forward.
“Especially now for Casey it was a promising weekend,” Druzina said. “He’s gonna come back to Europe and he’s going to be way more positive, more motivated probably because of the results he achieved here. It’s looking well.”
Larson left Iron Mountain immediately after Sunday’s competition to visit family in Barrington, Illinois, about 40 miles northwest of Chicago. Druzina said Larson will rejoin the team ahead of next weekend’s Continental Cup competition in Obertsdorft, Germany.
Friday’s competition was rescheduled for Saturday morning due to excessive winds.
Sunday’s typically smaller crowd was more subdued than Saturday’s as snow fell continuously through the morning into the afternoon. The start time was moved ahead two hours and competition was met with minor delays for blowing snow off the run and packing the landing zone between rounds. As with every year, the competition was accentuated with the parties, food, drinks and music at the bottom of the hill. The occasional long jump, such as Lindvik’s second jump, were acknowledged with horns, bells and whistles.
“Everyone is excited. The atmosphere also gets really good and everyone is just having fun,” Lindvik said. “Everyone wants to come here. It’s kind of a highlight jumping this awesome hill.”
Susie Fox, a Kiwanis Ski Club member and organizer for the event, said she expected a near-record crowd Saturday.
Exact attendance numbers won’t be known until after button sales are counted this week, she said. Previous weekend attendance has ranged anywhere from 10,000 to near 20,000.
Saturday’s festive atmosphere was punctuated with a passing hot air balloon and a private jet that took off from nearby Ford Airport and looped around Pine Mountain before disappearing into the clouds.
With the hill prepared to meet international regulations, snowfall last week and on Sunday only added to the already massive workload burdened by volunteers.
“The lack of snow doesn’t affect us, because we make all our own snow,” Fox said of conditions before recent snow storms. “The recent snow just created more work to what’s already a lot of work. Hats off to the hill crew who got this accomplished.”