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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Ski flying gets a boost

Norway’s only major ski jump suitable for ski flying won state funding for expansion this week, just as the country’s top ski jumper was doing some flying of his own.

Bjørn Einar Romøren soared through the air at the Flying Hill individual World Cup in Planica, Slovenia on Thursday (photo), landing at an impressive 230.5 meters.

The qualifying round marked the 10th time that Romøren, known as “the eagle from Hosle,” jumped more than 225 meters.

Meanwhile, back home, the government minister in charge of sports and culture Anniken Huitfeldt agreed to help fund improvements to the ski jump at Vikersund. She allocated NOK 23 million (nearly USD 4 million) to the project, which also will receive funding from its two local townships.

Vikersund will host the World Championships in ski flying in 2012 and Huitfeldt hopes the expanded jumping facility will help bring about a new record. She justified the state expense by calling ski jumping “incredibly important for Norwegians’ identity.”

Two ski jumping officials in Oslo, meanwhile, were officially scolded for their decision to allow Romøren to be the first top jumper to soar off the new Holmenkollen Ski Jump earlier this month. Torgeir Nordby and Roar Gaustad, who let Romøren jump the night before Anette Sagen was supposed to make the first official jump, were reprimanded by the board of Norway’s ski foundation (Norges Skiforbund) for poor sportsmanship. Both accepted their reprimands and the foundation now hopes the controversy over Romøren’s jump is over.

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