Ironwood, Michigan (October 19, 2015) – Representatives from FIS (Federation of International Skiing) awarded Copper Peak to host a series of world ski jumping competitions. The first event awarded to Copper Peak is a Grand Prix Summer Series finale event to be held in September 2017, an annual summertime competition held on grass or artificial surfaces. FIS has also awarded Copper Peak a Summer Continental Cup and a Nordic combined summer event, both to possibly take place in 2018.
Copper Peak is the only site in the United States – and one of only six sites in the world – able to host elite ski flying events – and will be the only ski flying hill in the world with a plastic surface. (Ski Flying is the term for Ski Jumping on large hills over 180 meters) In preparation for hosting this prestigious competition, the Copper Peak board of directors will begin plans to renovate the historic site. Renovations will include resurfacing the jump, installing an artificial surface landing zone and other enhancements that would equip the site for year round ski flying and training.
FIS hosts the world’s most elite ski flying competitions, recently only held at European sites due to the extreme specifications required for ski flying. Copper Peak’s 35 degree, 469-foot inrun (approach ramp of the ski jump) rises 26 stories above the hillside and is the largest ski jumping structure in the world.
“Copper Peak is unlike any other site we considered for these events and will be the only ski flying hill in the summer Grand Pix Series,” said FIS Director, Walter Hofer. “This unique site, combined with the commitment shown by Copper Peak’s Board and the larger community, make it a perfect host for our Grand Prix and Nordic events, and a strong contender for additional upcoming competitions.”
Copper Peak hosted the first International Ski Flying Competition in North America in February of 1970. Since holding its last meet in 1994, Copper Peak has long aspired to host additional FIS events. After several unsuccessful attempts at securing these prestigious events, the Copper Peak group had left nothing to chance in this latest opportunity. Local industrialist, Bob Jacquart, has been named Copper Peak’s organizing committee chair and Tunheim, a consulting firm with a strong practice around intersections of sports and business, has been selected to manage Copper Peak’s submissions with FIS.
“This endorsement from FIS is another step towards making sure the world takes notice of what Copper Peak has to offer,” said Charles Supercynski, chairman of the board, Copper Peak. “I am confident with Bob Jacquart’s new leadership and vision and the addition of Tunheim, we have the experience to help us make this happen.”
“Attracting FIS world class events to Copper Peak is a soaring win for the State of Michigan,” said Senator Tom Casperson. “Hosting the FIS Ski Flying Grand Prix, combined with the events at Iron Mountain, will help secure Michigan’s position as an international ski competition destination.”
Copper Peak opened in March 1970, and remains the largest ski jump on the American continent. Some of the world’s greatest ski jumpers and ski flyers, including Olympic champions from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, started their early flying careers at Copper Peak. From 1970 to 1994, ten ski flying competitions took place on the Peak. Although there have been no competitions since then, for decades Copper Peak has drawn more than 10,000 visitors per year as the top tourist attraction in the Western Upper Peninsula.
Founded in 1924, FIS (Federation of International Skiing) is the governing body for international skiing and snowboarding. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee, FIS manages the Olympic disciplines of Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding and sets the international competition rules. Through its 122 nations, more than 7,000 FIS ski and snowboard competitions are staged annually. Specific initiatives are undertaken by FIS to promote snow activities, notably for the young.