MARQUETTE, Mich (WZMQ) – Starting on Friday, January 20th, the 136th ski jumping tournament launched off the ground with excitment. It’s a time for the community, family, and friends to enjoy the winter event hosted by the Ishpeming Ski Club at the Nordic Ski Complex.
While training their young athletes for the weekend events, Parents Mikael and Jeni Kilpela said the sport of Ski Jumping has helped build their daughter’s skill level and her need for speed. “Regardless if she stays in this sport or whatever sport just learning that she can do things”, said Mikael Kilpela. “When she says I can’t do something I say you jump off of a hill you can do anything and she’s like yea I can”, continued Jeni.
Mikael, a rehearsed cross-country skier, said he’ll leave this version of speed skiing, to his kids. His daughter is competing in Saturday’s Junior event. Kilpela said adeveloping a skilled base of landing is what they focused on today. “On the smaller jumps it’s not like the aerodynamics aren’t as critical but it’s a good place to start”
The Kipelas’ said Ski Jumping is learned and practiced over time, and because their daughter has built this skill from a young age, they aren’t worried when she takes the leap. “I’ve never felt anxious out here watching them I think it’s really fun if your into speed and you wanna huck yourself off of a hill and get some air this is the way to go”, said Kilpela.
As people continue to trickle in, the parking spots are filling up…and with a face full of excitement even the community says this sport is for those with a heart for adrenaline. “I can’t even imagine doing what their doing, that first time has gotta be such an incredible experience. I grew up playing hockey and I don’t know that I could do this”.