BEGINNINGS IN NORWAY
Norwegian Sondre Norheim is widely considered the father of modern ski jumping. In 1866, he won what has been described as the world’s first ski jumping competition, held at Ofte, in Norway.
Ski jumping has been part of the Olympic programme since the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924. After World War I, Thulin Thams and Sigmund Ruud developed a new jumping style known as the Kongsberger Technique. This involved jumping with the upper body bent at the hips, a wide forward lean, and arms extended to the front with the skis parallel to each other. Using this technique, Sepp Bradl of Austria became the first to jump more than 100 metres when he jumped 101 metres in 1936.
In the mid-1950s, Swiss jumper Andreas Daescher became the first jumper to hold the arms backward close to the body with a more extreme forward lean. In 1985, Swedish jumper Jan Bokloev started spreading the tips of his skis into a “V” shape. Initially ridiculed, this technique proved so successful that by 1992 all Olympic medalists were using this style.
Ski jumping is comprised of five types of competition. The two men's and women's events from the normal trampoline, the two men's individual and team events from the long springboard, and the mixed team event. In the individual event, each athlete makes two jumps. Each nation fields four athletes in the team event, with the range of participants reduced to the eight best teams after the first jump. The quality of the athletes' performance is determined by the length of the jump and the execution style, which is assessed by the judges using a scoring system ranging from 1 to 20.