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Sarah Hendrickson: How to be a ski jumper

Oct 8, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT

Sarah Hendrickson Getty Images

The first Olympic women’s ski jumping competition could very well inspire many kids to take up the sport.

Why wait until February? World champion Sarah Hendrickson, 19, of Park City, Utah, put together a video primer on the sport for the International Olympic Committee’s YouTube channel.

Hendrickson is recovering from major knee surgery and hopes to return to ski jumping in January.

She said the sport is broken down into four parts — the in-run, the takeoff, the flight position and the landing. Five judges look at flight position, landing and the out-run after the landing. Each judge has a maximum of 20 “style” points, and the highest and lowest scores are dropped.

A total score is the addition of flight distance (in meters) and style points.

“It’s a very complicated sport in a span of about 10 seconds,” she said. “Once you’re in the air, you’re done with the hard part. You just have fun flying. It’s my favorite part.

“The feeling of flying is an amazing feeling. Not many people can say that they fly 130 meters in the air.”

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