One, Two Punch
What do you do after you win a World Cup cross country race? If
you’re Kikkan Randall, you come back the next day and climb back up
on the podium — with your teammate Sadie Bjornsen.
That’s just what happened in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Dec. 3 and
4, as Anchorage’s Randall took the individual sprint event, and then
combined forces with Bjornsen of Winthrop, Wash., to place second in
the sprint relay.
“I think I can safely say today was one of the best days of my life,”
said Bjornsen. “In fact, I still can’t stop smiling.”
Bjornsen said it wasn’t only her performance that made it an amaz-
ing day, but also the success of the USA 2 team of Holly Brooks and
Ida Sargent, which finished a strong 15th. “It’s a real testament to the
team effort that has been going on in the U.S.,” she said. “There’s
nothing like sharing a great feeling with the ladies you are training with
350 days of the year!”
It took hundreds upon hundreds of flights to get there, but
finally, in Lillehammer, Norway, on Dec. 3 , women soared in
the inaugural FIS World Cup ski jumping competition. And
flying farther than anyone else was Park City’s Sarah Hen-
drickson, 17, who finished nearly 30 points ahead of sec-
ond-place Coline Mattel of France, who was favored to win
“I didn’t have a good season last year but trained hard in
the summer and it paid off,” said Hendrickson, who had led
the trial round before dominating both competition rounds.
“We got a lot of training this summer and fall in Park City
U.S. SKI TEAM’S SARAH HENDRICKSON WINS FIRST-EVER WORLD CUP SKI JUMP EVENT
and that gave us a real advantage heading into Lilleham-
mer. I think the extra training and confidence I gained this
summer truly helped.”
Jessica Jerome, also from Park City, was the next Ameri-
can in 12th and said that the hill was “perfect.”
But the true star was Hendrickson, who coach Paolo Ber-
nardi said won because she pushed the edge. “Nobody
was even close enough to try and beat her today,” he said.
“The second round was a little sketchy because she was a
little far forward and her skis were super close to her body
Sadie Bjornsen and Kikkan Randall celebrate the first-ever
World Cup women’s relay podium for the U.S.