WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Ready, set, ski! International ski jumpers share their adventures

(WEAU) - The 127th Annual Silver Mine Invitational kicks off and the hill is officially ready.

Skiers have been shooting off the hill like rockets for practice, but have you ever wondered how they do it?

Having the perfect takeoff is a sound every skier loves to hear, but getting to that phase isn't easy.

"You just do a lot of training leg training, weight training stuff like that," said Nick Mattoon, Flying Eagles Ski Club.

Yet every country has their ways to prepare for Silver Mine.

"Started on the small hills in small competitions in club competitions, when I was around 14, 15. Then I began to compete in the Regional Cup," said Andreas Myhre of Norway.

The Silver Mine hill itself is about 90 meters long and that comes out to be about 9 school buses in a row. The scaffold tops about 150 feet in the air, and skiers will fly off the inrun at about 52mph.

Andreas says he's been ski jumping for 9 years now and took it up because he thought it would be fun.

"It looks fun on the TV and exciting and I did the cross country when I was little. It got a little boring and I wanted more action so I started jumping on the field in my backyard at home," said Myhre.

Meanwhile last year's winner of the North American Ski Championship from Finland hopes to make top three this year. He says he started ski jumping when he was only 3 years old.

"I'm really excited for this new hill. I only jumped the adult hill 3 times. Now they make the new hill, new landing,” said Jere Kykannen of Finland.

He says his team goes to the gym and has jumps practice. But how do all these skiers get rid of the fear?

"First time it’s always going to be scary. You get really used to it and you just do a lot of jumps," said Mattoon.

"I have 21 years jumping behind so it’s actually feels really nice now," said Kykannen.

"The feeling you get when you jump far, that's [what] keeps me going," said Myhre.


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