KUSA - Thirty women from 12 countries soared into the history books this week during an impressive Olympic debut of women's ski jumping at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center, a marquee event of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
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The depth of talent led to an intense battle with eight different nations in the top 10, six athletes jumping over 100 meters, and the top three separated by only 2.2 points.
Germany's Carina Vogt becoming the first-ever gold medalist. Jessica Jerome led the results for Team USA in 10th, while Lindsey Van (Park City, UT) and Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) finished 15th and 21st respectively.
Jerome is one of the sport's shining stars, but just 9 years ago, she didn't think she'd ever make it to the Olympic stage. She was ranked third in the world in 2005 when she suffered a season-ending knee injury.
It took her a full two years to complete her rehab, and in 2008, she
won not one, but two U.S. Championships in Ski Jumping. Then, it was on to Sochi.
Jerome's father is a big reason that Women's Ski Jumping was finally introduced at the Olympics. When she was little, at the urging of his wife, he bought a nonprofit-for-dummies book and sponsored bake sales to establish Women's Ski Jumping USA.
The International Ski Federation president put up a fight, declaring the sport inappropriate for ladies. Female competitors went to court and kept the pressure up until the Olympics finally let them in. Jerome says she is proud of her parents, and proud of all the women ski jumpers who helped make this history happen.
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