Dec 29, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT
Women’s ski jumpers will fly at the Olympics for the first time in Sochi. Jessica Jerome assured she will be there by winning the U.S. Olympic Trials on Sunday.
Jerome, 26, scored 248.5 points over two jumps at the 2002 Olympic jumping venue in her hometown of Park City, Utah. She beat 2009 world champion Lindsey Van by two points.
“This is huge,” Jerome said on NBC. “I can’t believe that I’ve already earned my spot. It’s amazing.”
Nick Fairall, 24 and of Andover, N.H., won the men’s event to make his first Olympic team after just missing the 2010 Vancouver Games. He scored 253.5 points, topping two-time Olympian Anders Johnson.
Only the winners clinched Olympic berths Sunday. The rest of the U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Teams (up to four men and four women total) are expected to be named by Jan. 22.
The International Olympic Committee added one individual women’s ski jumping event into the Olympics in 2011 after a decade-long fight for inclusion from the likes of Women’s Ski Jumping USA. The men have three Olympic events, two individual competitions and a team jump.
Reigning world champion Sarah Hendrickson remains out after tearing the ACL, MCL and meniscus in her right knee in an Aug. 21 crash. Hendrickson, 19, expects to return to jumping on snow in about two weeks and compete in World Cup events later in January.
Hendrickson is expected to be placed on the Olympic Team.
“I’m trying not to think about that,” Hendrickson said on NBC when asked about her confidence of being part of the team in Sochi. “I’m just focusing on my training and what I have to do on the hill when I get back to jumping again.”
If healthy, Hendrickson is a co-favorite for Olympic gold with Japan’s Sara Takanashi, who is 17, undefeated in three World Cups this season and not quite 5 feet tall.
A U.S. men’s ski jumper hasn’t won a World Cup medal since 1991 nor placed in the top 10 of an Olympic event since 1988.
That likely won’t change in Sochi, where the medal favorites hail from Austria, Germany, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.
“We definitely have to stay positive, keep focused on our goals,” Fairall said on NBC. “Ultimate goal is a gold medal, of course. Definitely stay focused, keep working hard, keep your head up no matter what.”
The crowd in Park City was reportedly the largest since the 2002 Olympics. That caused transportation problems getting to the venue.
May 6, 2015, 9:51 AM EDT
Canadians must return for 2016-17 if they are to come back at all, according to report.
May 6, 2015, 9:34 AM EDT
Russia is focused on another major sporting event.
May 6, 2015, 9:19 AM EDT
Kerri Walsh Jennings also wants to have another child, after the Rio Games.
May 6, 2015, 9:07 AM EDT
NBC Sports and NBCOlympics.com combined for seven Sports Emmys for Sochi presentation.
May 6, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT
Watch the resourceful video from the 2008 gold medalist.
May 5, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
Miller also said the Magnificent Seven is planning its 20-year anniversary.
May 5, 2015, 12:52 PM EDT
Three-time World champion explained why he’s returning to competition.
May 5, 2015, 11:16 AM EDT
Woods also compared Olympic golf to Olympic tennis.
May 5, 2015, 8:39 AM EDT
“This is just the beginning.”
May 4, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT
Liukin could be very busy during Indy 500 week with another competition.
May 4, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT
The U.S. only has one Olympian on its roster.
May 4, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT
“The guy who was getting ready to dive on the top board was laughing at me.”
May 3, 2015, 10:32 PM EDT
Bolt was seen at the stadium but sat out as an injury precaution.
May 3, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT
It’s the first World title for the Americans on home ice.
May 3, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
They had been together for nearly three years.
May 3, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
Both teams crushed their first four opponents to reach this final rematch.
May 2, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT
Also, Allyson Felix was involved in a collision.
May 2, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
It’s a rematch of the 2013 World Championship final.
May 1, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
The U.S. has dominated opponents so far, but the medal round figures to provide tougher tests.
May 1, 2015, 4:41 PM EDT
Rhode could become the first Olympian to win medals on five continents.
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