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.
Oct 19, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
How top Americans, Austrian going for history will be affected this World Cup season.
Oct 17, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Two-time Olympic halfpipe champion won’t be competing, though.
Oct 17, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT
Top U.S. skaters are incorporating new rule into their programs this season.
Oct 17, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT
Runner faces up to 15 years in prison.
Oct 17, 2014, 6:48 AM EDT
Gatlin’s inclusion on previous 10-man nomination list drew criticism.
Oct 16, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Olympic silver medalist has an interesting post-skeleton bucket list.
Oct 16, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT
Biles recalls bee tale, talks of specific vault upgrade, uneven bars hatred.
Oct 16, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT
Three-time Olympic medalist previously said he was taking a break.
Oct 15, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
Biles talks about the bee and what’s next.
Oct 15, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
Erik Nieman, 15, flew from Arkansas to Charlotte for a special training session.
Oct 15, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT
U.S. champion makes her Grand Prix season debut at Skate America next week.
Oct 14, 2014, 1:06 PM EDT
Zoeggeler made history with his sixth medal in Sochi.
Oct 14, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT
Olympic champions won’t consider competitive future until the spring.
Oct 14, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT
Canadian Olympic goalie returns to Columbus Cottonmouths. Season starts Oct. 24.
Oct 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Lightning coach: “If [my daughters] look at this and are like, ‘You know what, I’d love to play hockey,’ then it’s paying off.”
Oct 14, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT
Three-time Olympian needed ankle surgery, according to the AP.
Oct 14, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT
Gebrselassie continues to become more confident that barrier will be broken.
Oct 14, 2014, 8:59 AM EDT
A fourth Olympics is a possibility for the eight-time Winter X Games champion.
Oct 14, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT
First Japanese man to win Olympic medal, World Championship.
Oct 13, 2014, 4:59 PM EDT
Four-time U.S. champion went back on retirement plans with specific goal in mind.
- Aksel Lund Svindal injured playing soccer, likely out most of season 0
- Justin Gatlin not among IAAF Athlete of the Year award finalists 0
- Noelle Pikus-Pace: I already miss skeleton, but happily retired 0
- Simone Biles still buzzing after World Championships whirlwind 0
- Gracie Gold calls audible, adds lyrics for post-Olympic season 0
- Meryl Davis, Charlie White look to uncertain future in ice dancing 0
- U.S. women’s volleyball wins breakthrough World Championship (video) 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)