Sarah Hendrickson: "Very high level in Sapporo"
Sarah Hendrickson is one of the most outstanding athletes in ladies' ski jumping. 2011 the 21-year-old US American was the first ever woman to win a ski jumping World Cup. In the same season she also took the overall World Cup title. After she won Gold at the World Championships in Val die Fiemme 2013 she sustained a serious knee injury in a crash in training in Oberstdorf. Against all odds she was still able to participate in the first Olympic competition in ladies' ski jumping. Due to continuous problems after her knee injury she had to undergo another surgery in November and will miss the entire season. During this time Sarah Hendrickson will follow the FIS Ladies Ski Jumping World Cup as an expert for Berkutschi.
By Sarah Hendrickson
I miss my girls! When I see the pictures from Japan, of eating sushi, all the snow and of course the competitions, it's hard for me that I can't be there. But that's the way it is.
Fortunately I'm not getting bored here at home. In training I'm mainly focusing on physical and strength exercises. And then there's school. I'm also coaching little girls and boys. I've already seen some talents among the 6-year-olds.
But still I can't wait to be back on the hill.
The competitions in Sapporo were an extra motivation for me. The ski jumping ladies showed jumps on a very high level, the level in general is even higher than it was in the past. Sara Takanashi is currently in a league of her own. But the first round on Sunday showed that at least Daniela Iraschko-Stolz can be within striking distance with a little bit of luck.
I was especially happy about the podium result for Ema Klinec. This is a great result for the Slovenian team.
It's also impressive how strong the Austrians are. They clearly have the strongest team in the field.
After the competitions I spoke to my friend Eva Pinkelnig. It's not going that well for her at the moment, but she handles the situation well. You can't expect top results from her consistently. I'm sure that she has the right attitude in order to be among the best again.
I was also happy about my teammates from the US team. Abby Hughes shows good jumps in Japan and Nita Englund was finally able to keep her nerves in the final round on Sunday. She is often jumping very well in training, but she's not always able to show this in the competition. And last but not least Tara Geraghty-Moats is delivering steady Top-30 results, what is a huge succes for her.
Furth jumps in Zao
I'm excited to see the reconstructed hill in Zao. It should be possible to jump over 100 meters there now. Thanks to the new floodlight, the competitions can be held late afternoon. This shall also make the wind more predictable. Hopefully it will stop snowing soon. In the last couple of days it snowed about one and a half meters each day. This means the organizers will have to work on preparing the hill until the very last minute.
I'm looking forward to Zao and the next competitions of our flying ladies.
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