European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 2 1999, Page 39

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 2, 1999, Darmstadt, HessePages stars and stripes travel thursday december 2, 1999 jumping for Joy spectators easily hooked by thrill of Winter sport by Amy de la Hunt special to stars and stripes ast Winter i clamped on skis for the first time in a decade. Let s just say i was a Little Rusty. Half Way through the first week my body was on the verge of a break Down a mishmash of bruises and lumps. Fortunately i was t the Only one in the group who needed a recovery Day. A Friend suggested an alternative going to Oberst Dorf Germany to watch professional ski jumping. There was a big International tournament in town that Day one leg of the famous four Hills tournament. Had i heard of it nope. The few times i d flipped to ski jumping on to there was Little action and few fans to be seen. Little did i expect the 35,000 people filling Oberst Dorf s ski jumping Arena that morning last december. As it turns out the Competition that Day was intense. The Japa Nese team was Tough but a Young German named Martin Schmitt who would go on to earn 10 titles and the 1998-99 world cup championship won on the last jump of the Day. Be fore i knew it i was shouting Svi. I. Series of tournaments. The top Honor winning the world cup goes to the one with the most Points. In Alpine events there Are individual titles As Well As an Overall title for the person with the most Points in All five categories. The jump Competition i attended is one of the Best known nor Dic events. Here s How it works there Are qualifying jumps where you la sometimes find americans. Those who do Best go on to the preliminaries the next Day. That s when the crowds appear. Jumpers Are paired up and compete against each other in the Best set ire usually the Best length although there can be deductions for falling for example that Cost Points when everyone has jumped once the Winner of each pairing advances. Sometimes it does t seem quite fair occasionally a contestant with a Nice jump loses to an even nicer jump while in another pair both jumps might be Lousy. To remedy that five Lucky losers with the Best distances among the losers also Advance. In the finals the individual Best jump wins

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