Ski Jumping in Sochi - An overview
Ski Jumping - Olympic Games Sochi - an overview
1 Ladies (it's the first ever Olympic competition in ladies' ski jumping)
Individual - Normal hill HS 106 on Feb. 11th
Individual - Normal hill HS 106 on Feb. 9th
Individual - Large hill HS 140 on Feb. 15th
Team - Large hill HS 140 on Feb. 17th
Built from 2009 to 2012 in Krasnaya Polyana, about 50 km from Sochi
RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center
610 m above sea level
Everything is possible
The situation concerning the favorites could not be more contrary for the men's and ladies' competitions: In the ladies' event there's one absolute favorite: Sara Takanashi of Japan. Takanashi won ten out of 13 World Cup competitions this winter. In addition to that, she also won two title at the recent Junior World Championships in Italy. Takanashi sets the standards in ladies' ski jumping in this Olympic winter, who wants to win the gold medal needs to jump better than the 17-year-old, but this will be very, very difficult. Most likely, Austrian Daniela Iraschko-Stolz is capable of doing that. Also German Carina Vogt and Russian Irina Avvakumova, who could win in the World Cup this winter, have a chance. With Sarah Hendrickson, also the World Champion of Val di Fiemme will be competing in Sochi. For Hendrickson this will be the first competition after a long break due to injury. Right now nobody knows on what level the US American is jumping in comparison to the other competitors.
There are no top favorites in men's ski jumping
Instead there are at least 10 athletes who are capable of winning on the normal and large hill. Poland's Kamil Stoch and Slovenia's Peter Prevc were presenting themselves in a top shape in the final competitions before the Olympic Games. Then there are the two Austrians Gregor Schlierenzauer and Thomas Morgenstern, who is coming back on time after his serious fall in the ski flying event in Bad Mitterndorf. And there is Japanese Noriaki Kasai, who is in an outstanding shape despite, or maybe because, he's already 41 years old. The two Germans Severin Freund and Andreas Wellinger staked their claims with top results. Norwegian Anders Bardal is one of the favorites, the hills in the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center suit him very well. And of course 4-time Olympic Champion Simon Ammann of Switzerland always has to be reckoned with at Olympic Games, although he was not able to show 100 % convincing performances during the course of the winter so far. In addition there are ten more athletes with a realistic chance to win Olympic medals. It will be incredibly exciting, that's for sure. Even experts are not able to make any predictions right now, the first training and the qualification will then be an indicator of who has to be considered among the favorites.
The Slovenes are the ones to beat in the men's team competition. They were in an outstanding shape in the competitions over the past weeks. Their main opponents come from Poland, Germany and Austria. Also the Norwegians, who didn't reach their full potential yet this winter, and the Japanese have strong teams. All other teams only have an outside chance.
He will not be among the best, but Nico Polychronidis, who will represent Greece, will still attract a lot of media attention. This is due to the fact that the son of a German mother and a Greek father is competing for Greece since the 2012/13 season. Polychronidis started ski jumping Oberstdorf (GER). The 24-year-old also competed for Germany in various FIS competitions before he changed his nationality. Now he will be the first ever competitor for Greece in an Olympic ski jumping competition. By the way, there are no ski jumping hills in Greece.