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 26, 2015, 2:54 PM EDT
Also, Asafa Powell won a 100m race.
May 26, 2015, 8:13 AM EDT
She may change coaches after the World Championships.
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May 22, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT
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May 22, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
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May 22, 2015, 9:57 AM EDT
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May 22, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT
The U.S. won “Beat the Streets” 9-4.
May 21, 2015, 11:49 AM EDT
Skaters, skiers, gymnasts, track and field athletes and more.
May 21, 2015, 9:18 AM EDT
Russia ceded its place as top challenger to the U.S. in recent Olympics.
May 20, 2015, 8:10 PM EDT
They were a gift from a previous Olympic host city.
May 20, 2015, 3:07 PM EDT
Usain Bolt dropped on the list and is no longer the top track and field athlete.
May 20, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT
Markus Rehm jumped another personal best on Saturday, moving up the list of top active jumpers.
May 20, 2015, 1:09 PM EDT
Letterman had a special correspondent at the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics.
May 20, 2015, 12:53 PM EDT
The Olympic silver medalist has been off the elite competition radar for nearly two years.
May 20, 2015, 11:56 AM EDT
The World champion explained the origin of her design.
May 20, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT
Gatlin’s agent also called the sprinter “misunderstood.”
May 20, 2015, 8:21 AM EDT
A stopwatch used to time Bannister’s feat was also recently auctioned.
May 19, 2015, 12:41 PM EDT
Seebohm took silver behind Franklin in 2012 and 2013 but was faster last year.
May 19, 2015, 7:47 AM EDT
“They didn’t have any respect for me.”
May 18, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
The 22-time Olympic medalist finished first or second in zero events at a meet for the first time since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
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