Ever wish you could fly? Well, ski jumping may be the closest we humans ever get. And, amazingly, you can learn how right here in Anchorage, at the Nordic Ski Association’s ski-jumping program at Hilltop Ski Area. Adults are welcome!
Karl Eid labored mightily to bring the sport to Anchorage back in the 1980s. His legacy remains here in three jumps (15-meter, 40-meter and 64-meter). Interest has waxed and waned over the years. But now, thanks to the enthusiasm of two Anchorage moms, community backing and some adults who trained with Eid, the sport is rebounding.
Eid’s program produced Olympian Alan Alborn. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he finished 11th in the team large hill and 11th in the individual normal hill events. Today, he coaches the first U.S. women’s ski jump team, voted into the Olympics for 2014 just last year.
The current crop of enthusiasts hopes to send athletes to the Junior Olympics in 2014. But this sport isn’t just for kids. If you’re an adult hankering to try it, your chance is Jumpfest on Feb. 25, a part of Anchorage’s Fur Rondy celebrations. That day, kids will take off from the 15-meter and 40-meter jumps, and race in Nordic combined that includes jumping and skiing. The club will host an adult competition and provide a U-Try-It opportunity off the 15-meter jump. Now there’s one for the bucket list.
- AK: Renovation Hilltop’s Ski Jump (11 Nov 2011)
- Who was Karl Eid? (Anchorage Daily News, Sept. 17 2008)
- Karl Eid Ski Jump Facility (photos)
- Alaska Ski Jump Club, Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage
- Women’s Ski Jumping -USA
* Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
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HOST: Kathleen McCoy
* Karen Compton, parent organizer, Alaska Ski Jump Club
* Mike Jokela, coach, Alaska Ski Jump Club
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