Ski jumping is a classic Winter Olympic event. Women’s ski jumping will make their inaugural Olympic jumps this year in Sochi. However, the focus still lies in the highly competitive men’s field, with well-established Switzerland, Norway, Germany and Austria as the top competitors in the event both in the team and individual competitions. Japan, Poland and Slovenia are strong contenders however and will look to make in roads in the sport with their young teams.
The format can be confusing to anyone just sitting down and flipping on the event. The individual competitions are held over two rounds, with the top 30 advancing to the second jump. The winner is determined by points with the total score a combination of distance and style. The competitors start with 60 points and receive two points for every meter jumped over a certain distance determined by the size of the hill, and two points deducted for every meter under the prescribed distance. Then three of the five judges’ scores are added together to get a style score.
Ski jumping promises to be a high-flying spectacular event even without strong American contenders.