Updated: 25/09/2013 11:24 | By pa.press.net

Sochi 2014: Ski jumping



A competitor in action at the Whistler Olympic Park (© Copyright [c] Press Association Ltd. 2013, All Rights Reserved.)

A competitor in action at the Whistler Olympic Park

History

The dramatic, awe-inspiring sport of ski jumping originated in Norway in the late 19th century and has always been a part of the Winter Olympics, with a large hill competition contested in 1924.

Women's ski-jumping was allowed for the first time at the 2009 World Ski Championships, although a proposal for it to be a part of the 2010 Olympics was rejected by the International Olympic Committee on the grounds of a perceived lack of competition. It was finally granted approval to be part of the 2014 programme.

Disciplines

Men contest the normal (105 metres) and large (140 metres) hill events, plus a team competition. At Sochi 2014 women will make their Winter Olympic ski jumping debut with a normal hill event.

Each competitor theoretically has two jumps, although only the top 30 after the first round get to jump again.

Each jump has a K-point - an optimum landing zone - typically at 90m and 120m respectively. Each athlete is awarded or deducted points depending on where they land in relation to that line, based on 60 points for landing on it.

In addition, they are scored by a panel of five judges who award points based on five criteria involving style and landing: the best and worst judges' scores are discarded, providing an average of the other three's scores.

Equipment

Jumping skis are manufactured specifically for use on ski-jumping hills. Their length is determined by the height of each individual competitor, with a length of up to 146 per cent of the athlete's total height allowed. The curvature and shape of the skis is also similarly restricted.

Stars

Finland's Matti Nykanen won three golds at the 1988 Winter Olympics and has a total of five medals from Winter Games ski jumping. In 1992 16-year-old Finn Toni Nieminen won two golds.

Switzerland's Simon Ammann won double gold in 2002 and returned to repeat the feat in 2010.

The fast-growing women's competition has been largely dominated by American Sarah Hendrickson, although her dominance has come under increasing threat from Japan's Sara Takanashi, who won the overall World Cup title in 2013 at the age of just 16.

Venue

The ski jumping at Sochi 2014 takes place at the Russki Gorki Jumping Center.

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