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updated: 1/25/2011 8:56 AM

Local skiers to compete in Norge Ski Jump

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  • Trevor Edlund, 12, of Minnesota flies off the 150-foot jump during the 105th annual winter ski jumping event at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. This year's tournament is set for Saturday and Sunday and will feature competitors from around the world.

      Trevor Edlund, 12, of Minnesota flies off the 150-foot jump during the 105th annual winter ski jumping event at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. This year's tournament is set for Saturday and Sunday and will feature competitors from around the world.
    John Starks/Daily Herald 2010

  • Matt Doyle, left, and Luke Daniels, both 13 and from the Andover Outing Club in New Hampshire, rest and watch after competing in the J2 Class in the 105th annual Ski Jump Tournament hosted by they Norge Ski Club last year.

      Matt Doyle, left, and Luke Daniels, both 13 and from the Andover Outing Club in New Hampshire, rest and watch after competing in the J2 Class in the 105th annual Ski Jump Tournament hosted by they Norge Ski Club last year.
    Laura Stoecker/Daily Herald 2010

  • A.J. Brown, 15, of Fox River Grove jumps at a previous Norge Ski Jump Tournament. Brown has qualified for the U.S. Junior Olympic Team every year since he was 10.

      A.J. Brown, 15, of Fox River Grove jumps at a previous Norge Ski Jump Tournament. Brown has qualified for the U.S. Junior Olympic Team every year since he was 10.
    George LeClaire/Daily Herald 2008

 
 

Charlie Sedivec has either competed in or watched all but a couple editions of the annual Norge Ski Jump in Fox River Grove over the last 50 years.

He learned to ski jump as a little kid and in his teens switched to Alpine skiing. He says ski jumping has changed radically over time -- for one, nowadays spectators don't get as dramatic a view.

"The skiers used to go so much higher in the air and used to come down a lot harder," says Sedivec, 55, now the spokesman for the Norge Ski Club. "Now the objective is to be more scientific and mathematical, you want to keep close to the ground."

Skiers competing in the 106th edition of the Norge Ski Jump, slated for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, and Sunday, Jan. 30, include members of the U.S., Canadian, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish and Russian national teams.

Skiers of all ages will be competing in several categories, with jumps ranging from the 5-meter jump to the tallest 70-meter jump. Typically 40 to 65 skiers compete, Sedivec said.

For the past two years the Norge Ski Jump has been the third leg of the 4-Hills International Ski Jump Tournament, with other locations in Eau Claire, Wis., Minneapolis and Westby, Wis.

In addition, Saturday's K70 event for juniors will allow skiers to earn points to qualify for the Junior Olympics, something 15-year-old A.J. Brown, of Fox River Grove, knows well.

The sophomore at Faith Lutheran High School in Crystal Lake grew up next to the ski jump, and has qualified for the U.S. Junior Olympic team every year since he was 10.

"Once you go there the first time, it's pretty much the same every time because you follow the lead of the guys who are there before you," A.J. says. "I'm one of the old guys now!"

Ski jumping gives him a feeling that is hard to describe, he says.

"You're so into it, it's like flying," he said. "You're weightless, and you feel the air pick you up and carry you down the hill."

Last year's Norge Ski Jump attracted about 6,500 spectators, and organizers hope crowds will top 8,000 this year, Sedivec says.

Sedivec expects only four to six female competitors, but he says that over the years he has seen some women perform better than men.

He thinks it's high time that the International Olympic Committee allow women to compete in ski jumping, the only Olympic sports category that remains men-only.

"There are a lot of antiquated decision-makers, a lot of countries that think (allowing women) is rocking the boat and don't want to bend," he said, adding that the U.S. is among those pushing for reform.

For details on the weekend's events, visit norgeskiclub.com.

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