THIS WEEKEND: Olympians to put on ski jump show

The following is an excerpt from an article published at oregonlive.com:

America’s Olympic and World Championship medalist athletes are ready to put on a show on the Olympic venues in Park City. The Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow will combine as the site of the U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships, set for July 30-Aug. 1. It’s the third year the traditionally wintertime event has held its annual championships in the summertime.

The U.S. Ski Team’s four Olympic medalists including Olympic champion Billy Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.), World Champions Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Olympic silver medalist Brett Camerota (Park City) will highlight the field, competing in both the ski jumping and nordic combined championships.

The summer Championships have been held the last two years in the Olympic village of Lake Placid, N.Y. Now the scene shifts to the 2002 Olympic venues for a late July weekend extravaganza. The move also puts two jumps back onto the schedule with both K90 and K120 plastic jumps available, which allows athletes to ski jump sans snow on a plastic surface, at the Utah Olympic Park.

”The summer events have been a great showcase for our sport and these amazing athletes,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Nordic Director John Farra. “The athletes love competing here and it’s a major test for them to go head-to-head on the Olympic venues.”

Competition kicks off Friday morning with the U.S. Ski Jumping Championship for men and women on the K90 Olympic jump. The trial jump begins at 9 a.m., followed by two competition rounds. Nick Alexander (Lebanon, N.H.) and Jessica Jerome (Park City) are the defending U.S. champions, winning in Lake Placid a year ago.

Among the favorites in the jump will be two-time Olympian Anders Johnson (Park City), who grew up skiing at the Utah Olympic Park.

Sunday, the K120 big hill will be on tap for jumping, along with the official U.S. Nordic Combined Championship. Jumping will begin at 9 a.m. with ski jumping titles on the line for men and women. The nordic combined finale will shift down to the paved roller ski trails of Soldier Hollow near Midway with a 6 p.m. start for the 10km title round. Lodwick is the defending U.S. champion.

Click here to read the entire article.

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