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Elite Ski Jumpers
Jan 3, 2014 -- Eastern competitors have made spectacular gains in the years since this page was updated.
Bill Demong (left) became World and Olympic champion.
Peter Frenette and Nick Alexander skied in the Vancouver Olympics
Nick Fairall, Nick Alexander and Chris Lamb swept the podium and the U.S. Large Hill Championships and Nick Alexander won the Normal Hill National Championship with Fairall taking the silver medal.
Nick and Nick have been campaigning on the World Cup circuit while Chris Lamb and Peter Frenette compete in European Continental Cup events.
In February of 2014, Nick, Nick and Peter represemted the U.S. at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
A Family Affair
Nina Lussi (left) of Lake Placid, a member of the U.S. Womens Team has finished her studies and training at the ski academy in Stams, Austria and has moved to Park City where she has elevated her game enough to be named to the Womens World Cup squad. |
In 2013 Nina's younger brother Miles Lussi (right), on the strength of a terrific mid-season streak of jumping, was named to the USA Ski Jumping Team.
For complete biographical information and competition records for these seven athletes, we will send you to these athletes' pages on the web sites of USA Ski Jumping, Womens Ski Jumping USA, or the U.S. Ski Team. A click on the name or the picture will open a new window and take you there. Enjoy!
Older Stuff, Posted 2008 and Earlier
Nordic Combined skier Bill Demong
(left -- b. March 29, 1980) of Vermontville NY (near Saranac Lake) enjoyed a spectacular season in 2006-07.
Following a pair of fourth place finishes in World Cup events in which Bill lost frantic sprints for the bronze medal,
he scored a silver medal at the World Championships in Sapporo, Japan (left). The best Combiners in the world then traveled to Lahti,
Finland, where Bill won the next World Cup event.
He capped a career season with a bronze medal in the season-closing event at the Holmenkollen in
Bill's 2007-2008 season was even better! He reached the podium at six of the twenty World Cup events and finished third in the season-long World Cup standings, the highest ever placement by an American Nordic Combined competitor. See a review of Bill's competition season.
In 1998, seventeen year old Bill Demong skied his way onto the
U.S Team for the Nagano Olympics where he made some waves with his long jumps.
In 1999, he moved to Steamboat Springs, CO and was named to the U.S. Nordic Combined Team.
In the next few seasons, he won consecutive National Nordic Combined championships and won
the U.S. National Championship Large Hill ski jumping crown.
He won a World Cup gold medal and skied well in the Salt Lake Olympics.
A freak swimming accident put Bill on the sidelines for two seasons, during which he worked on his cross
country skiing and recommitted himself to his sport. In January 2005, he got back on track,
finishing in the top 10-15 in World cup competition. At the 2005 World Championships, Bill finished 12th
(top American) in the traditional 15 km Gundersen event, and 19th in the NC sprint.
In 2006, Bill's skiing was good, though not spectacular, with two World Cup top-ten finishes and fifteenth
at the Olympic Games. He now lives in Park City, Utah, but wears "Lake Placid" on his hat and still
calls Vermontville his home.
For several years, Willy Graves (left, b. Sept. 10, 1986) of Putney Vermont was the only athlete to
wear the colors of the Brattleboro Outing Club. He had a spectacular season in 2004-05, winning early competitions
in both Lake Placid and Ishpeming against all comers. Later in the season, he won both the special jump and the nordic combined
competitions at the initial North American Junior Championships in Lake Placid.|
In 2006, Willy was chosen to represent the U.S. at the World Junior Championships in Kranj, Slovenia, and later he was named
to the U.S. Nordic Combined Team.
The Andover Air Force
Over the last couple of decades, the program of ski jumping and Nordic Combined skiing run by Tim Norris
at Proctor Academy's blackwater Ski Area has poured out a continuing stream of excellent athletes. Among thefirst of these were Jed Hinkley and Carl VanLoan (see below), and more
Nick Alexander, Chris Lamb, Peter Freire and Nick Fairall.
In 2006 Freire and Fairall joined Willy Graves (above) and others traveling
to Kranj, Slovenia for the World Junior Championships.
The next year, Chris Lamb joined Fairall and Freire at the
2007 WJC in Tarvisio, Italy. (The jumping was relocated to Planica, Slovenia
because Tarvisio lacked snow.)
[ See Chris Lamb's web page.]
Nick Fairall was the top junior jumper at the National Championships in Steamboat Springs.
After the 2007 ski season, the last two members of the U.S. Ski Jumping Team retired and soon the USST terminated its men's jumping program. A small group of interested people,
spearheaded by Alan Johnson, began a new initiative to fill the gap. The new
program, which has been nicknamed
Project X, is independent from USST & USSA and has gathered its own funding, hired Jochen Danneberg as coach and named six young jumpers as charter members, including Chris Lamb and Nick Fairall (b. July 6, 1989).
Evan Bliss (left, b. Mar. 5, 1987), who grew up in Lake Placid but moved to Utah, joined the Project X team during its first year, as did a third Andover jumper, Nick Alexander.
Carl VanLoan (right, b. Aug. 20, 1980) of Webster NH was a member of the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team
for several years, where he alternated between the World Cup and World Cup B circuits.
He qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in both 2002 (Salt Lake City) and 2006 (Torino), and joined
Bill Demong and three others at the 2005 World Championships in Oberstdorf GER, where he competed
in all three Nordic Combined events: the 15 km Gundersen event, the big hill sprint, and the team competition.
Carl was a member of the gold medal NC team at the World Junior Championships in 1999 (see below).
He retired from competition at the end of the 2006 season.
Jed Hinkley (b. June 5, 1981) of Andover NH was a member of the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team
for several years, competing mostly on the World Cup B circuit.
In 2002, he qualified for the U.S. Olympic team competing in Salt Lake City.
With Demong and VanLoan, he was a member of the gold medal NC team at the World Junior Championships in 1999 (see below).
Jed continued as a member of the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, retiring from competition in 2006.
Jed is at the University of North Carolina in Asheville studying health and wellness,
and plans further study toward a masters degree in dietetics and a dietitian's license.
In 1999, the U.S. team of Bill Demong, Carl VanLoan, Jed Hinkley and Johnny Spillane
won the gold medal in the Nordic Combined team event at the World Junior Championships.
The same four returned to the 2000 WJC and nearly succeded in defending their crown,
bringing home the silver medal.
Spillane, VanLoan, Hinkley, Demong,|
1999 World Junior Gold Medalists!
(left -- b. July 18, 1984) grew up in Scarborough, Maine.
With only spotty financial support from the Ski Team, Brian
nabbed a spot on the 2002 Olympic team and also the 2005 world Championships.
Brian retired from competition in 2006 and went off to study at Purdue University.
(left -- b. Nov. 3, 1974) of Lake Placid NY was 1997 U.S. National ski jumping champion
and went on to Nagano, Japan for the 1998 Olympic Games.
At the end of the 1999 season, Casey retired from international competition to
continue his college education, but late in 2001 he decided to take one more shot
at Olympic jumping. He missed the team by the thinnest margin but played an important role at the Games as a very
experienced forejumper. He retired again, but instead of returning to college, Casey moved to Park City to coach some
very talented junior jumpers. He spent two seasons coaching the U.S. Women's Ski Jumping Team, but has come home to Lake Placid to be the head ski jumping coach in the NYSEF program.
(right -- b. July 15, 1984) grew up in Keene NY and learned to ski in the
Lake Placid program.
He spent two years living in Steamboat Springs, with the goal of being the best Nordic Combined
competitor that he could be. He has retired from the
U.S. Ski Team and is studying at Williams College and plans to race XC on the Williams ski team.
(b. Nov. 17, 1979) of Lake Placid was a
member of the
U.S. Ski Team
for several years. He tried out for the 2002 Olympic team but fell short and became a forejumper.
He is now a car dealer in Lake Placid and has not jumped much recently.
of Saugerties NY committed to ski jumping at age 15.
She lived and trained in Lake Placid for several years during which she collected medals at
U.S. Championships and travelled several times to Women's competitions in Europe. She spent a couple of seasons as a weekend
as she finished her studies in Kinesiology at Cortland State.
She married and lives and works in Lake Placid where she has undertaken a very
successful career as a Masters alpine racer.
(Click on the jumper at right to see a spectacular picture of Liz in flight, jumping on plastic in Lake Placid.) |
Next, find out about the
Pride of the Upper Valley
a group of New England athletes who dominated U.S.
jumping for more than a decade, or choose to meet: