Sarah Hendrickson is one of the most decorated female ski jumpers in the sport. However the 23-year-old was unable to make the podium in Pyeongchang, finishing 19th in women’s ski jumping. Her other successes on the slopes include being a three-time U.S. National Champion and five-time member of the World Championship Team. Hendrickson has also reached 23 World Cup podiums in her career.
Off the slopes, Hendrickson has suffered the same fate as many other athletes in her sport, injuries. The rigorous toll ski jumping takes on the body has not spared Hendrickson, who has suffered two torn ACLs and a torn MCL in the past five years. Because of those injuries, the 2018 games could be Hendrickson’s last.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hendrickson is a Two-Time Olympian
Just six month after tearing both her ACL and MCL, Hendrickson fought back from injury to finish 21st in Sochi. Despite not making the podium, she still made history, becoming the first woman to ever ski jump at the Olympics. The 2014 games were the first to include ski jumping as an event. Hendrickson drew the top spot in the draw which gave her the opportunity to be first out of the gates.
Hendrickson slightly improved her performance four years later in Pyeongchang, placing 19th overall. After an underwhelming first jump, Hendrickson bounced back with an 88-meter jump which briefly placed her atop the leaderboard, but she would eventually fade.
“It’s definitely not what you dream about, but I have to walk away proud,” Hendrickson told NBC. “It’s an honor to become a two-time Olympian.”
2. Women’s Ski Jumping is Still in It’s Olympic Infancy
Ski jumping debuted as a men’s sport when the Winter Olympics began in 1924. Nine decades later, in 2011, the IOC announced that women’s ski jumping would be added to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games program. Despite the addition, the women are still at a disadvantage, having just one opportunity to medal in the normal hill event. Meanwhile the men have three events (normal hill, large hill, and team competition).
According to the official Team USA Women’s Ski Jumping website, advocates for the sport continue to lobby for Olympic officials to add more women’s events to the Olympic program.
In 2006, eight years before the official inclusion of women’s ski jumping, a young Hendrickson expressed her interest in jumping in the Olympics one day and declared that “girls are exactly like boys”. Ironically …read more
Source:: Usa latest news – Sports