Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 will be a memorable day in the history of Ski Jumping and FIS. For the first time, female ski jumpers will compete in a World Cup event in Lillehammer, Norway as the new World Cup series commences.
Ladies' Ski Jumping has been practiced since the second part of the 19th century and a FIS Continental Cup circuit has been carried out since the 2004/05 season. In 2006, the first junior world champion was crowned - it was Juliane Seyfarth from Germany. In 2009 and 2011, Lindsey Van (USA) and Daniela Iraschko (AUT) celebrated victories at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE) and Oslo (NOR). And in 2014, ladies' Ski Jumping will be part of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (RUS).
The establishment of a ladies' Ski Jumping World Cup series is yet another step in the right direction. While Lindsey Van will miss the first competition because of a hip injury suffered on October 4th, Iraschko - who currently is the undisputed dominator of the scene - will compete. A big battle for the historical first victory in Lillehammer is expected between Iraschko, home-town heroes Line Jahr and Anette Sagen, France's super star Coline Mattel, Italy's Elena Runggaldier and many others. Overall, more than 50 ladies from around 15 countries are expected to compete.
The FIS ladies Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann and OMV as the official main sponsor of the series will visit Schonach-Schönwald and Hinterzarten (GER), Val di Fiemme (ITA), Szczyrk (POL), Hinzenbach (AUT), Ljubno (SLO) and Zao (JPN) during the 2011/2012 season before crowning the first overall winner at the Midstubakken in Oslo on 9th March 2012.
Contributed by Egon Theiner