Iron Mountain, Mich. (WZMQ) – “You know, title nine just came into existence, so it was still kind of iffy what girls could do,” said Therese Seda (Altobelli) of her experience as the first female ski jumper in Iron Mountain back in the 1970s. Seda can be found in the Upper Peninsula’s Sports Hall of Fame as the first female Ski Jumper to jump off of the Pine Mountain Ski jump in 1978. According to her bio in the Hall of Fame, Seda (Altobelli) was “a pioneer in a male dominated sport”. The Hall of Famer said that she remembers people telling her to “go home and bake cookies,” and giving her nicknames like “the pantyhose queen”. She said that the guys she jumped against were fine, but the parents didn’t like the idea of a girl beating their sons. Seda (Altobelli) said that things have changed a lot in the sport for women since then.
The Hall of Famer was at the ski jump competition over the weekend in support of the two female forerunners who jumped ahead of the competition for the event. The jumpers, Anna Zigman, and Adeline Swanson both pushed well up to 100 meters by the end of the weekend’s jumps, according to Scott Mcguire, the weekend event and National Ski Jump Announcer.
Zigman, who currently lives in Minneapolis, has family origins in Iron Mountain. Her parents, Jim and Gretchen Zigman are from Iron Mountain and Kingsford. “I think it’s really cool that a lot of my family can come watch me jump because they normally don’t get to,” said Zigman about Ski Jumping at the Iron Mountain hill. “It’s so nice this hill is probably the best hill I’ve ever jumped in my life, and its really fun, too,” added Zigman. “I get to go off of this hill for the first time with one of my teammates that I’ve been jumping with for a very long time, and it’s really cool that we get to do it together. I’ll definitely be back,” commented the Junior National Ski Jumper.
Zigman’s teammate, Adeline Swanson, who is also a Junior National Ski Jumper from Minneapolis, said that she will also definitely be back to the Iron Mountain hill for next year’s competition. Both teammates have plans to train for the summer in Lake Placid, New York, and Swanson even mentioned having her sights set on competing in Europe.
“It feels amazing, this is my first time ever jumping this hill this weekend, and even though I’m just a forerunner, it just feels amazing to be out here on it,” said Swanson of her first time competing in the Upper Peninsula.