Q: What is ski jumping?
Ski jumping is one of the Nordic Olympic sports. Competitors slide down a ramp and launch themselves into the air, trying to maintain perfect form. Five judges rate each jump for flying, landing and style, making deductions from 20 points. The highest and lowest scores are thrown out, and the remaining three are added to the distance score to determine the rankings.
Competition is held on two hills: the normal hill and the large hill.
Q: How many ski jumping events will be contested in Pyeongchang?
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Four: men’s normal hill, men’s large hill, men’s team and women’s normal hill, all at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.
Four jumpers make up a team; after the first scored round, the top eight teams advance to the final round. The scores of all four competitors on each team are used to determine the winners.
Q: Which countries are the best at ski jumping?
Of the first 18 Olympic medals awarded in the large hill – the first Olympic event, in 1924 – 14 went to Norway, and that nation leads the medal table. Austria and Finland are close behind. Japan and Poland are more recent up-and-comers in ski jumping.
Q: Has the United States ever won an Olympic medal in ski jumping?
Yes, once. Anders Haugen – who emigrated to the United States from Norway in 1909 – won bronze at the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France. But it took 50 years for Haugen to get his medal.
In Chamonix, the bronze was awarded to Thorleif Haug of Norway, who also won three gold medals. In 1974, at the 50th reunion of the Norwegian team, a historian noticed a mistake in scoring. That year, at 86, Haugen traveled to Norway and was awarded his bronze medal.
Q: Who is competing for the United States in Pyeongchang?
The men: Kevin Bickner, Michael Glasder, Casey Larson, Will Rhoads
The women: Nita Englund, Sarah Hendrickson, Abby Ringquist
Ringquist is the top-ranked American in the women’s World Cup standings, at 42nd. Bickner is 46th among the men.
Q: Who are some athletes to watch?
Kamil Stoch of Poland sits atop the World Cup rankings and is the defending Olympic champion in normal and large hill.
Stefan Kraft of Austria is the reigning world champion in large hill. Stoch will defend his gold medal, and Noriaki Kasai, 45, returns to defend his silver medal for Japan.
Austria and Norway are favorites in the team competition, but Stoch’s presence makes Poland a contender. Germany won gold in 2014, and Japan took the bronze.
Women’s ski jumping made its Olympic debut in Sochi four years ago. Carina Vogt of Germany will defend her gold medal. Sara Takanashi of Japan was fourth in Sochi but, with four World Cup titles and five world championship medals, she is a top challenger in Pyeongchang.
Q: When is ski jumping contested, and how can I watch it on TV?
Events begin on the first full day of the Games, Feb. 10, and end Feb. 19. All events will air on NBC and NBC Sports Network, but only one will be shown live. Here is a schedule of the finals, with television coverage in parentheses. All telecasts are delayed unless otherwise noted. Competition is also available by live-streaming or on the NBC Sports app.
Feb. 10: Men’s normal hill, 8:35 a.m. (NBCSN, 7:35-11:30 a.m., live; NBC, 3-6 p.m.)
Feb. 12: Women’s normal hill, 8:35 a.m. (NBCSN, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; NBC, 3-5 p.m.)
Feb. 17: Men’s large hill, 8:30 a.m. (NBCSN, 1:30-5:30 p.m.; NBC, 8-11 p.m.)
Feb. 19: Men’s team, 8:35 a.m. (NBCSN, 7:10 a.m.-11 a.m.; NBC, 3-5 p.m.)