At the recent Team USA Olympic Media Summit in Park City, Utah, where the women's team lives and trains, dozens of sports and entertainment reporters -- and even a few Olympic bloggers -- flocked to meet the Sochi Olympic hopefuls who are medal stand favorites going into the Games. At times, journalists huddled in rows three or four deep to pose questions, with photographers and TV cameras encircling each young woman.
All the attention is well-deserved. At the media summit, Sarah Hendrickson, Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van explained their version of events leading to women's ski jump gaining Olympic competition status. It took, after all, several years, legal battles, IOC lobbying and an abundance of perseverance to create the five-ringed opportunity for Team USA and international competitors to jump in Russia during 2014.
However, the schedule section does note February 11 as the big day for women's jumping for joy (and gold).
I aim to be among the 7,500+ spectators in the RusSki Gorki venue. From a peek at the Sochi.ru interactive map (screen grab shown), the viewing stands and the jumps are nestled among the tracks for bobsled, luge and skeleton competition, much like the set-up in Park City for 2002. Globally, women's ski jump athlete qualification -- which involves number crunching of FIS World
Cup and Grand Prix results -- continues through January 19, according to the Team USA Media Guide. Here in the USA, the athletes are selected through rankings and results of competitions held Nov. 15 to Jan. 19, with one spot TBD on Dec. 29 at the Olympic Trials.
By my count via the FIS ski jump athlete pages, there are 22 nations who may field women's ski jump entrants from three continents: North America (Canada, USA), Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania, Poland) and Asia (China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Russia).
May the best woman ski faster, lunge higher and land stronger in the Sochi ski jump competition.
A public relations executive by day, small-time eBayer by night and weekends, lifetime member of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) and full-time Olympic enthusiast who also looks at "BoingBoing-style" unusual news with interest. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you can't get enough try my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas_Wolaver/713593008