NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – On Tuesday night, athletes from all over the country gathered in Negaunee as the Ishpeming Ski Club hosted the 135th Annual Ski Jumping Tournament on the famous Suicide Hill. This tournament is one stop on both the regional premier Five Hills Tournament and the U.S. Cup.
“We’ve been having tournaments out here since 1887,” Gary Rasmussen, the Head Ski Jumping Coach for the Ishpeming Ski Club and Chief of Competition said. “In this area on Suicide Hill here since 1926, but ski jumpers train year-round, and a lot of the most serious training actually happens on plastic in the summer, because conditions are always perfect.”
With the longevity of this tournament and the ski hill, not only is the competition special, but the sports holds a special place in the U.P.
“I think there have been more Olympic athletes in the Upper Peninsula in the sport of Ski Jumping than all other sports put together,” Rasmussen said. “We’ve had over a half a dozen Olympians right here from the Ishpeming Ski Club. Iron Mountain and Ironwood have both had Olympians also. We’ve had great success in Upper Michigan with athletes as a whole. A lot of national champions, a lot of U.S. Ski Team members, and Olympians so it’s a great place with great snow conditions. We’ve got great hills and it’s just a wonderful environment for some top-notch jumpers.
Suicide Hill isn’t just reserved for the professionals, anyone is welcome to come out and strap on some skis and give this sport a try.
“If somebody wants to try ski jumping, reach out to the Ishpeming Ski Club on Facebook,” Rasmussen said. “All of our contact information is there or www.ishskiclub.com is our webpage and all the information is there as well. We jump every Tuesday and Thursday night and Saturday morning, so come out and take a look if it’s something you’d want to try.”