Simon Ammann Ends Ski Jumping
Season with a Grand Slam BY PETER Q. GRAVES
At the start of the season, the thought that one jump-
er could so clearly dominate the entire winter was, well,
unthinkable. But then it became obvious that it would
be the man from Switzerland, the now legendary Simon
The history books of ski jumping already note his two
golds at Salt Lake 2002, and now more pages are being
added to include the 28-year-old’s extraordinary odys-
sey in 2010. He ruled the World Cup, he won two more
golds at Whistler Olympic Park and he displayed steady,
And then, as the season came to a close, Ammann
not only took the wins at the brand-new Holmenkollen
ski jump in Oslo, becoming the first Swiss jumper to
ever win the overall World Cup title, but also grabbed the
closing Cup wins at Lahti and Lillehammer.
We’re not done yet. Ammann traveled with the rest of
the White Circus to the World Ski Flying Championships
in Planica, Slovenia, and the final event on the calendar.
Planica is always ready for giant jump action and the
crowd of 35,000-plus each day was treated to another
breathtaking weekend under azure skies. It’s an enthu-
siastic, lively place, and that’s where Ammann outdid
himself again by taking Day 1 of the competition.
Second place went to top Austrian jumper Gregor
Schlierenzauer; third went to Norwegian Anders Jacob-
sen. On hand to watch was the last great Swiss jumper
of three decades ago, Walter Steiner, who was delighted
to see another generation of Swiss ski jumping success.
In fact, 33 years before, Steiner had won the World Ski
Flying Championships at Vikersund in 1977.
The longest ride in the individual event went to Cro-
atia’s Antonin Hajek with a distance of 236.5. Austria
showed its continued team power by placing six in the
Austria also won the team event while a renewed Nor-
wegian squad took the team silver and Finland flexed its
somewhat dormant muscles to take third place.
At season’s end, it was also clear that the German
jumpers have much work to do to catch up, even with
some outstanding talent on board. The Russian squad,
which looked so promising at the start of this season,
was left pondering how the collapse came and who will
be their new head coach, especially with Sochi 2014
just four years away.