When I Was Too Scared—or Smart—to Try Ski Jumping

By Jack Limpert

Growing up in Wisconsin I did a lot of skiing and ice skating during the long winters. My hometown of Appleton had a ski jump, not as impressive as you see in the Olympics where the skiers seem to float through the air a long time before landing. But the Appleton ski jump seemed an exciting challenge—you’d fly off the end and float maybe 25  or 30 yards down the hill before landing.

One day I decided I was old enough—12—and experienced enough on skis to give it a try. I had once seen ski jumpers in Iron Mountain, Michigan, near where my mother was from, and I had loved watching the skiers fly down the hill.