Sochi 2014: Jumping into History

johanne kolstad hilda braskeruds ski jump vintage norway womenJohanne Kolstad and Hilda “Nusse” Braskeruds of Norway, pioneers of women’s ski jumping in the 1930s.

johanne kolstad hilda braskeruds ski jump vintage norway womenKolstad (left) toured the U.S. for five years in the mid-1930’s jumping at exhibitions. She was popular with fans and known as The Queen of Skis (or Skies) or The Wonder Girl.  Her 1938 world record jump of 72 meters at Berlin, New Hampshire remained unbroken until 1972.

johanne kolstad hilda braskeruds ski jump vintage norway womenAll vintage photos from the book Hopp, Jenter- Hopp! (Jump, Girls, Jump!) by Karin Berg.

sochi 2014 ski jump women japan sara takanashi Sara Takanshi of Japan in flight off the normal hill at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  Photo:  AP/ Matthias Schrader

carina vogt germany sochi 2014 women ski jump champion gold medalFebruary 11, 2014 – Carina Vogt of Germany earned the first-ever Olympic gold medal awarded for women’s ski jumping.  Photo:  AP/ Matthias Schrader

sochi 2014 women ski jump daniela irashchko stolz austriaDaniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria flies over the Olympic rings.  Photo:  AP/ Matthias Schrader

Finally!  It seems crazy that this is a landmark in 2014 – but given that gender inequality has plagued ski jumping at the Olympic level – there is reason for celebration with the Sochi Winter Games.  The U.S. Women’s team — lead by World Champion Lindsey Van, Sarah Hendrickson and Jessica Jerome – has tirelessly fought for the inclusion of women’s ski jumping in the Olympics.  Tuesday, that became a reality.

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