Ski jump world record broken twice in two days

Slovenian Peter Prevc and Norwegian Anders Fannemel set records at the World Cup

Photo: Tadeusz Mieczyński Anders Fannemel in the FIS Ski-Flying World Championships 2012. He had one of the longest jumps at that competition, but had to settle for third place.

Photo: Tadeusz Mieczyński
Anders Fannemel in the FIS Ski-Flying World Championships 2012. He had one of the longest jumps at that competition, but had to settle for third place.

Molly Jones
Norwegian American Weekly

It’s always exciting when athletes crush world records, demonstrating both their incredible skill and the overall progress of the sport. Especially when that sport is ski jumping, an event that most of us wouldn’t dare try. But what about when the record is broken twice in one weekend?

Well, that’s exactly what happened at the Vikersund FIS World Cup ski jumping competition. At the start of the competition, Norwegian ski jumper Johan Remen Evensen still held the record with his 2011 jump of 246.5 meters. But on February 14 Peter Prevc of Slovenia crushed Evensen’s record with a jump of 250 meters.

“It’s always great to jump far. This win today and the world record is my biggest success so far. The speed and the position was perfect and then I just landed. Right now, it’s hard to describe my feelings; it will probably take a few days,” said Prevc to the International Skiing Federation.

With this jump, Prevc became the first non-Scandinavian athlete in 15 years to hold the record since Andreas Goldberger of Austria. But unfortunately for the Slovenian, a Scandinavian quickly recovered the record.

The following day, February 15, Norway’s Anders Fannemel jumped 251.5 meters for the new world record. This 23-year-old ski athlete from Hornindal has quickly jumped into the spotlight with his first world cup victory in December, his second on February 8, and now the world record.

“I thought it would not be possible to jump longer than 250 meters,” admitted Fannemel to the International Ski Federation regarding Prevc’s record, “but the conditions were perfect for long flights, and I made the best jump of my life.”

“I passed 100 meters with good height and good speed. Then I knew that I could take the record. I just had to hold the speed, keep the correct form, and chase on,” he recalled.

Fannemel’s impressive jump left the national team manager, Alexander Stöckl, speechless. “I just had to keep my mouth shut and congratulate. There’s nothing to say about a record jump. I found no errors, from start to finish,” said Stöckl.

Now the world record is back in the hands of a Norwegian, but neither Fannemel nor Prevc actually achieved the victory due to their shorter second jumps.

A 202-meter second jump landed Fannemel in second place, behind Severin Freund of Germany who jumped 237.5 meters and 245 meters in Vikersund.

“It was an amazing feeling, a totally new dimension. I was already asking myself how it’s possible to stand a jump on 251.5 meters. Now I want to take the emotions from here with me. It was an amazing weekend,” commented Freund on his victory.

Fannemel was unsurprised by his less-successful second jump, admitting, “I was completely exhausted after the first jump, and I didn’t manage to get the same power and balance in the second jump.”

And Olympiatoppen’s ski jump expert, Steinar Bråten, doesn’t blame him, considering the impact of the world record jump on Fannemel’s body. “The G-forces are large … but I would estimate them to be three times of his body weight in the landing moment in Fannemel case.”

Meanwhile, previous Norwegian world record holders offered their praise to VG for this flawless performance by the newest member of their elite group.

“It was an absolutely amazing jump. He jumped 101.5 meters longer than I did, but I imagine the feeling is quite similar,” says 70-year-old Lars Grini who jumped 150 meters for the record in 1967.

Lasse Ottesen, who took the record in 1997 with 212 meters, also gives Fannemel the recognition he deserves, stating, “251.5 meters is extreme. Currently we hold the record in Norway, and we have good traditions for jumping far on skis. I think Fannemel feels very privileged and proud. I certainly did when I came in the history books with the world’s longest ski jump.”

“A fantastic achievement,” wrote the 71-year-old legend Bjørn Wirkola.

Now how long will it be until Fannemel is congratulating the next world record holder? If this trend continues, it could be tomorrow!

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 27, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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