Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump, and attempt to fly as far as possible. Judges award points for technique (often referred to as style points). The skis used for ski jumping are wide and long (260 to 275 centimetres (102 to 108 in)). Ski jumping is predominantly a winter sport, performed on snow, and is part of the Winter Olympic Games, but can also be performed in summer on artificial surfaces – porcelain or frost rail track on the inrun, plastic on the landing hill. Ski jumping belongs to the Nordic type of competitive skiing.
Ski jumping as a sport originated in Norway. Norwegian lieutenant Olaf Rye was the first known ski jumper. In 1809, he launched himself 9.5 meters in the air as a show of courage to his fellow soldiers. By 1862, ski jumpers were facing much larger jumps and traveling longer. The very first recorded public competition was held at Trysil, Norway, on 22 January 1862. At this first competition, judges already awarded points for style ("elegance and smoothness"), participants had to complete three jumps without falling and rules were agreed upon in advance. It is clear from the news report published in Morgenbladet that the ski jumping in Trysild was entertainment, but also a national, competitive sports event. The first known female ski jumper participated at the Trysil competition in 1863. Norway's Sondre Norheim jumped 30 meters without the benefit of poles.
In 1866, the first skiing event held in Christiania near Old Aker Church was a combined cross country, slalom and jumping competition, and attracted an audience of some 2,000 people. Sondre Norheim won his first competition in Christiania in 1868.The first widely known ski jumping competition was the Husebyrennene, held in Oslo in 1879, with Olaf Haugann of Norway setting the first world record for the longest ski jump at 20 meters.Explorer Fridtjof Nansen was a skilled skier and was number 7 in the 1881 competition at Huseby. Until 1884–1886 jumping and cross-country was a single integrated competition: In 1886 at Huseby cross-country and jumping were held on separate days, and final results were calculated from the combined achievements (similar to present nordic combined). The annual event was moved to Holmenkollen from 1892, and Holmenkollen has remained the pinnacle of ski jumping venues. To distinguish ski jumping competition only from Nordic combined, it is still referred to as "spesielt hopprenn" in Norwegian (ski jumping only).
According to the International Olympic Committee's site:
Ski jumping has been part of the Olympic Winter Games since the first Games in Chamonix Mont-Blanc in 1924. The Large Hill competition was included on the Olympic programme for the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
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