The 127th Silver Mine Invitational is this weekend in Eau Claire. It is also the North American Nordic Championship which will feature some of the top ski jumpers from around the world. Some local athletes will be main contenders in the competition.
The Flying Eagles Ski Club has produced some outstanding athletes in recent years, including Nick Mattoon and Emilee Anderson. Mattoon took part in the U.S. Juniors competition on plastics in Europe this past summer. Anderson is currently on the U.S. Development Team. No matter how far the two have traveled to compete, they say it's nothing like competing in their own backyard.
"We don't really get to jump here much, training wise we always have to go other places so Silver Mine is probably my favorite tournament of the year," says Mattoon. "I get to see all my friends and family and try to compete my best for them. So it's a great experience and the crowd there is amazing too."
"It's cool to be able to compete in front of your family and friends and show everyone what ski jumping is all about because most people don't know what it is. I think it's good to show them," adds Anderson.
After graduation Mattoon plans on jumping in Europe while Anderson has her eyes set on the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"The feeling of like flying through the air, you can't get that in any other sport," says Anderson.
"I just love ski jumping and flying is just an amazing feeling," adds Mattoon.