Ski jumping has been a part of the Olympic program since the very first Winter Olympic Games, in Chamonix in 1924.
During the 1964 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck the large hill competition was introduced to the Games for the first time.
Ski Jumping in Russia
Russia's first ski jumpers made headlines in St. Petersburg and Moscow in the early 20th century. In 1906, skiers from the North Star Club built the first wooden jump near St. Petersburg and jumped as far as 10-12 m. This fascinating event gradually grew in popularity.
Referees at the first official competition, held in 1912 in Yukka near St. Petersburg, evaluated athletes based primarily on their general impressions of the jump.
Ski Jumping Today
In 2014, ladies will compete in ski jumping for the first time in the Olympic history. Ladies’ individual normal hill event was added to the Olympic ski jumping competitions in 2011. Four events make up the Olympic program: the men's and ladies’ individual normal hill competition, the men's individual large hill competition, and the men's team competition. Four sets of medals are awarded.
The individual normal hill is an event in which athletes jump from a HS 105 hill (HS = Hill Size). The longest distance reached is around 105 meters. Athletes make two jumps. Only the athletes with the best results in the first jump make the second jump. The athlete with the highest total score is declared the winner.
The individual large hill is an event in which athletes jump from a HS 140 hill (HS = Hill Size). Therefore, the length of the jump may be up to 140 meters or a little more. The competition is structured and winners selected the same way as in the normal hill event.
The team event takes place on the large hill, the HS 140. Teams consist of four people. In the final round the field is reduced to the eight teams with the highest scores on the first jump. The team with the highest total score for all jumps is declared the winner.
- Special high-backed boots allow the skier to lean far forward during flight.
- The binding must be mounted parallel to the run-direction. The binding must be placed in such a way that no more than 57% of the entire ski length is located in the front portion of the ski (the binding divides the ski into a front and back portion).
- A connection cord that is a part of the binding attaches the ski to the boot and prevents the skis from wobbling during flight.
- All portions of the skier's suit must be made of the same material and must offer sufficient breathability. Jumping skis may be no longer than 146% of the total height of the competitor.