Olympic Ski Jumper Explains What It’s Like To Jump Off A Mountain at Massive Speeds

It’s hard to top the words of an Olympic ski jumper when she’s describing just what it’s like to jump off of a track when going as fast as she can. But I’ll take a shot at it. For someone that’s just going through their first jump or their first round of jumps, this can no doubt be terrifying since there’s no way to know just what to expect, nor is there any experience to fall back on in order to know what will happen and what to do in case of an emergency or mistake of any kind. In any jump it’s a matter of knowing what you’re doing and being able to trust that your training will see you through.

In this woman’s experience the ride up to the top is calm as she smells the brisk winter air, the chill as it touches and caresses her skin. She’s completely at ease as she dons her skis and readies herself for the jump. When she puts her goggles on it’s time to go, and as she leans forward she takes off for the three-second slide down the ramp that will deliver her to the point where she will jump off. In those three seconds time slows down, her heartbeat quickens but is still calm, and her world contracts to the first few inches she can see in front of her skis. There is no world beyond this one at the moment, no worries, no cares, just the few inches in front of her skis and the rush of the wind as it moves past her at roughly 55 mph.

When the jump comes she goes airborne, flying about the length of a football field to the amazement of those below. She doesn’t notice them however, as in this moment she is alone, free to fly high above the crowd in solitude. The wind rushes past her, caressing her, folding over her body, and embracing her as gravity begins to take hold. Her every breath, every movement, and every sense, is alive with the knowledge that she is in control, that she is the one that decides what will happen. This is the life of an Olympic ski jumper, and it sounds absolutely glorious.

The amount of training needed for this sport sounds intense however, and not for the faint of heart. The rigors that a body must go through in order to ski down the ramp without fault to start with must be excruciating at times, but it’s obviously worth it to those that come this far. Thinking of how far they jump is simply amazing, but then if work out the physics of the entire thing you get a better idea of why this is possible and how timing is a big part of the sport. If they jump too soon or too late it could end in disaster, and committing such an error seems as though it be quite costly. All in all though, this is rather impressive.

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