Sarah Hendrickson combined two strong jumps to take gold in ski jumping at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Photo: Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team
VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (Feb. 22) - Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) soared 106.0 meters on her first jump to take a 3.3 point lead over Japan's Sara Takanashi and then sealed the gold with a 103.0 second jump at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) went 100.0 and 98.0 meters to sneak into the sixth spot.
Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) soared 106.0 and 103.0 meters to take gold in ski jumping at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT) was sixth with jumps of 100.0 and 98.0 meters.
It was the second time in three Championships that the USA has won gold. Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) has previously won.
Jumping second to last in the first round, Hendrickson soared out to 106.0 meters putting pressure on Takanashi, who clinched the season World Cup title a week ago. Takanashi could only respond with a 104.5 meter ride.
In the second round, Takanashi put the pressure on Hendrickson with a solid 103.0 meter jump, which Hendrickson matched to take a 253.7-251.0 victory.
QUOTES Sarah Hendrickson I can't even put it into words right now. I'm so happy. I had confidence on this hill and knew I could have good jumps. But standing at the top before the first round my heart was beating and everything was shaking. I didn't know if I could pull it off, but, obviously, I put together two good jumps. The first jump is important for me mentally. If I have a good first jump I know I can have a good second jump. If I have a hard first jump sometimes I mentally shut down, so it was really important for me.
On Takanashi's jump
I had no idea how far she went. I could hear the crowd roar but you never know with that. I just knew I had to do my jump and just forgot about the other stuff.
On her coach, Paolo Bernardi
This is hometown for Paolo - born and raised. His dad built these ski jumps. I've had an amazing relationship for the past two years he's been coaching. To share this with him in his hometown is awesome - no words needed to be exchanged, just hugs and happiness.
On her results
After my first jump, it felt awesome. Two days ago in training I had a great jump and I knew I needed to do that again. Yesterday wasn't as good in training and so when I jumped 100 meters today, I was relieved and thrilled to do it in the competition.
My whole thoughts today were about my mom and dad. They came to see me and I wanted to make them proud.
When we all went out to celebrate with Sarah, we were pretty much all crying. I think that as a team we do really really well together. Today just reinforces that we are a great team and we have been through a lot and we can still get it done.
Paolo Bernardi, US Ski Team Coach On Sarah and competition We made it. She did it and we did it.
On team Sarah was terrific in the trial round. I was confident, with the conditions today and how much she loves this hill, that she would jump really strong. Takanashi is a strong challenger and we didn't know if it was enough to win, but it was enough today. The competition was so high today. I was hoping for higher than top 6 with Jessica, but she did amazing.
On venue This is such an emotional day for me. This is my hometown. All of my friends and family were here today. It's a special day for me.