Sarah Hendrickson: "Injuries affect you forever"
In our series "FIS Ski Jumping-Talk" we present interviews with ski jumping athletes and officials. Today: US ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson (20).
Sarah Hendrickson is competing in the ladies' ski jumping World Cup since 2011 and she started with a win in Lillehammer. At the end of the season Hendrickson took the historic first ever overall World Cup title of the ladies. In Val di Fiemme 2013 she won Gold at the World Championships. In August 2013 Hendrickson then got seriously injured in a fall in training, but still her Olympic dream came true and she finished 21st in Sochi.
FIS Ski Jumping: Hello Sarah, how did you spend this summer so far?
Sarah Hendrickson: I have been training really hard this summer. More off the hill, because our Park City hill isn't like the European ones and sometimes jumping at home hurts my jumping. It has also been very hot, up to 40 degrees, which can cause injuries. I am focusing on physical training right now in the gym.
FIS Ski Jumping: What do you miss most during summer?
Hendrickson: I miss the rhythm of training and focusing. Sometimes it's hard during the winter but I love being so dedicated and, hopefully, having it pay off at the end of a competition weekend.
FIS Ski Jumping: How would you sum up last winter?
Hendrickson: I am really happy with the last three World Cups and the World Championships. I struggled a lot this winter in more ways than just my results, also mentally, so to get over those hard days and finish strong really makes me happy.
FIS Ski Jumping: What was most difficult for you during the rehabilitation after your injury?
Hendrickson: The hardest part was the mental side to trust my body again. I worked so hard to come back but my head didn't quite trust that hard work. Injuries affect you forever and it was really hard but Im so much stronger as a person now.
FIS Ski Jumping: What are you looking forward to the most next season?
Hendrickson: I want to come back and compete well in Obersdorf... with my fall and two horrible results there last year, I need revenge!
FIS Ski Jumping: What are your goals?
Hendrickson: There are not as many World Cups as I wanted because we don't have a big event but I just want to be consistent and be in contention for the overall win.
FIS Ski Jumping: How satisfied are you generally with the development of ladies' ski jumping?
Hendrickson: Ladies' ski jumping is definitely improving. I think those who follow can see that. But we need that next step for FIS to trust us and add more big hills. The first season with more large hill World Cups might be rough but then our coaches will let us train on big hills more often and we will improve. We now have 10 girls that have potential to win a World Cup and at least 25 to podium on any given day. Thats a huge step.
FIS Ski Jumping: Last question: What headline would you like to read about you some day?
Hendrickson: I want to read about myself winning a medal in Korea. That's my focus these days. Olympics is huge in the States and that would show the world that we have been fighting and working hard for so many years behind the scenes with rough funding.
FIS Ski Jumping: Thanks a lot and all the best for the future!