45 years of ski history reduced to rubble with a bang
The enormous wooden construction at Vikersundbakken was built in 1965, and it was Torbjørn Yggeseth who undertook the first jump in Europe’s only Ski-flying hill the next year. He landed at the 97 meters point at that time.
Later, Bjorn Wirkola its legendary hill record in Vikersund with 146 meters, but today the record is 219 meters by the Finnish jumper Harri Olli.
Will the world’s largest
Now the ground is being developed to become the world’s largest. The new run-up to be put on the ground, and the new and remodeled the ground will be ready for the World Cup and trial in February next year.
Precisely at ten minutes past 12 Thursday started the countdown. A tremendous boom made the old scaffold to topple over the side and go out of the time.
“This is the beginning of a new adventure, not the end of an old. The only thing sad is scaffolding function as a landmark in Vikersund. The run-up has its benefits and then some, and the building was outdated,” said former high jumper Ole Gunnar Fidjestøl to NTB.
A 50-year-old from Vikersund was among a few hundreds of spectators who had made the trip to the ski center to see the scaffolding be lowered.
Fidjestøl has jumped 167 meters (1990) at the hill and had once held the all-time second-longest jump in Vikersund the legend Matti Nykänen 171 that same year. But in the World Cup was only fifth on the world champion from two years earlier. German Dieter Thoma (1990) and Sven Hannawald (2000) is the world’s only master on the hill.
“I have many fond memories from the hill – and some not so good too. At jeg var VM-favoritt uten å innfri, hører til den siste kategorien. I was a World Cup favorite, without fullfilling, belonging to the latter category. But the best memory is from when my oldest son put down the hill the first time in 1998. It was very exciting, but in a different way than when I jumped it himself,” recalled the man with four World Cup victories.
Only Per Bergerud (1980) and Anders Jacobsen (2007) are the Norwegians who have gone to the top in World Cup Vikersund. The last individual wins on the old hill was Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer last year.
Two world records were set in Vikersund when the hill was completely new. First there was Bear Wirkola with 146 meters in 1966. Then followed the Austrian Reinhold Bachler up with 154 meters the following year.
Construction of new hill is already at its early start. The road up to where the new run-to be built, is in place. The next step will be a decision of the FIS Board next week where it is applied for an exemption to increase the legal vertical height of the hill five meters (up to 135 meters).
From being the world’s third largest Ski-flying hill record of 219 meters (Harri Olli from 2009), the new Vikersund Help Center gain the greatest of them all.
The old hill has security mark on the 207 meters, while the new brand is moving to 215
Vikersund assigned Ski-flying World Championships in 2012, and already in February next year will be phased trial VM. Thus, the hill must be more or less finished by then.