The Utah Olympic Park celebrated opening day on the Olympic jumps this week - first in the world as U.S. ski jumpers and nordic combined skiers enjoyed early training.
PARK CITY, UT (Nov. 14) - It was opening day of the Olympic season this week as the Utah Olympic Park opened to ski jumpers Tuesday, Nov. 12 - the first day any jump in the world was online for training. Top U.S. men's and women's ski jumpers plus the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team were on hand. The Utah Olympic Park crews invested 91 hours in snowmaking, pumping 350,000 gallons of water onto the K90 Olympic jump with 10 snowmakers working around the clock. The early opening allowed U.S. athletes to train at home in preparation for the World Cup seasons which begin later this month in Europe.
The Utah Olympic Park opened for on-snow jump training on Tuesday, Nov. 12 - first opening day in the world (jump in Rovaniemi, Finland opened same day)
Top U.S. men's and women's ski jumpers, along with the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, were on hand to begin on-snow training in preparation of World Cup openers in Europe beginning later this month.
The Park's 10-person snowmaking crew pumped 350,000 gallons of water over 91 hours - plus eight hours of snowcat time on the landing and a huge 26 hours to complete the in-run (jumping track).
The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup opens Nov. 22-24 for men in Klingenthal, Germany. Women open Dec.. 6-8 in Lillehammer, Norway. The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup kicks off in Kuusamo, Finland Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
Olympic Teams will be named around January 22 based on results from World Cup competitions and an Olympic Trials Dec. 28-29 at the Utah Olympic Park.
QUOTES Bryan Fletcher, nordic combined athlete The crew members at the Utah Olympic Park are entirely responsible for all the athletes having the opportunity to get a few extra days on snow before the rest of the world. When it boils down to it, the UOP crew puts in a ton of work to accomplish the snowmaking and hill work necessary to be able to open an Olympic jump this early in the season. I think I speak for all the U.S. athletes when I say we are lucky and grateful to have the men and women at the UOP at our side.
Anders Johnson, ski jumping athlete It feels great to be back on snow again. And despite the warm weather of late, the hill crew at Utah Olympic Park did a phenomenal job getting the hill ready. It gives us a big advantage over the rest of the field having extra jumps on snow. The difference between snow and plastic isn't huge, but being on snow this early really helps us get adjusted early. So far there have been a number of teams from the US and Canada taking advantage of the conditions and it's great to see so many people getting ready for the competitive season. It's also great to have the entire USASJ team out here training together before we all get split up before the competitions start. But so far so good and we're all looking forward to start competing again.
Colin Hilton, President and CEO, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation
The Utah Olympic Park fully recognizes the importance of early access to on-snow training for U.S. Ski Team members and is honored to be able to contribute towards their Olympic dreams. This represents Utah's Olympic legacy in action, actively utilizing our world class Olympic venues to support athletes, elite and developing, in the most effective way we know that will make a difference!
Jamie Kimball, Mountain Operations Manager, Utah Olympic Park The jump crew staff were cognizant that this was an especially important year to get the jumps open as quickly as possible. They put in a tremendous effort to maximize the snow made in the small window of time that presented itself the first week of November. The crew is so excited to be only one of a couple of jumps open in the world and providing our athletes as much time on snow as possible to prepare for their upcoming competitions leading up to the Sochi Games.