Winter is coming - first snow jumps in progress!
It was the opening day of the Olympic season this week as the Utah Olympic Park and the Ounasvaara hill in Rovaniemi opened to ski jumpers Tuesday, Nov. 12 - the first day any jumps in the world were available for training.
Top U.S. men's and women's ski jumpers plus the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team were on hand in Park City. 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.
Traditionally a place where many teams make their first snow jumps, the HS100 hill in Rovaniemi attracted the Japanse, Polish, Estonian, Russian and Finnish Nordic Combined teams who work on last technical details and can have a first look at some of the competitors before the season kicks off in Kuusamo on the 30th of November.
Another group of teams, namely the Norwegian, Czech, French and Austrian squads are currently about to gather in Lillehammer, Norway, another "hot spot" of final season preparations. For the Norwegian team which just returned from a cross-country camp in Beitostoelen, the season pretty much starts one weekend earlier already with the important national championships in Beitostoelen on the 22nd of November. Stay tuned for more information on fis-ski.com!