Getting a Jump on Things

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 31, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Getting a Jump on Things


Byline: Tara Garca Mathewson tgarciamathewson@dailyherald.com

For some, the annual Norge Ski Jump competition is a chance to qualify for the Junior Olympics or claim a title as Norge Ski Champion. For others, the 105-year-old event is a chance to party.

Billy Martenson of Woodstock has been coming to the competition for 40 years, since his Norwegian parents brought him for the first time as a toddler. This year, he arrived at 10 a.m. Sunday to tailgate with family and friends and brave the winter weather for hours of what he called a "winter party."

Martenson said he never jumped but always comes to watch, taking pride in the sport's Norwegian roots. Martenson knows there aren't many places in the U.S. he could see the jumps.

"One of them happens to be right here in our backyard," Martenson said.

At this weekend's competition, more people than usual packed into the Norge Ski Club property in Fox River Grove to watch youth compete from the U.S., Finland, Norway, Canada and Russia.

Charlie Sedivec, the club's director of public relations and publicity, said there were more world class jumpers at this competition than any ever before.

"The talent of the skiers was incredible," Sedivec said.

New Yorker Cooper Dodds broke the hill record Saturday by jumping 80 meters but only held it for one day. Kimmo Ylliriestro, from Finland, beat that record by one meter and won the A Class competition Sunday with 81 meters.

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