As of this posting, 9 girls have $4000 dollars in their bank account.
These nine girls are future Olympians.
Though that, too, is new news. Really big news. The HISTORY MAKING kind of news.
Since 1924, Men’s Ski jumping has been included in the Olympic Winter Games. Now, for all the young ones who have grown up with Snowboarding, Halfpipe, Skicross, etc… this may seem like an afterthought. Ski jumping. But think about it. For one second.
I dare you, i triple dog damn dare you, to do this: Sit on a metal bar on a K120 hill. Lock your ski’s into two parallel tracks. Tuck down that hill at 55-60 MPH, then jump blindly over more than a football field and a half, and land without totally dismembering your body.
Oh, you need an illustration, you say? OK, well let me show you the view:
Got it? Just a little bit?
OK, now back to the story.
April 6, 2011. Maybe you were making a nice, hot, big-ass bowl of oatmeal. Maybe you had a craazzy day of meetings at work (that would be me). Maybe you were late to pick up your kids at daycare, or it was an extraordinarily warm day and you decided to barbeque.
But do you know what day that was for these 9 women?
It was the day they made history. It was the day that Women’s Ski Jumping was declared as an Olympic sport, and therefore making Sochi 2014 the first ever GENDER EQUAL WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES.
that is so big it’s mind boggling. I mean it’s really goddamn huge. and i know you, readers… i know that the men reading this are just as excited and impacted as the women are.
So this blog is not about the dearth of funding to send these girls to the competitions to which they need to travel.
This blog is not about the fact that i attended a fundraiser Friday night where the girls held up the auction items in blind faith that someone attending would donate the equivalent of an airfare to Europe so they could compete in a World Championship and not have to sleep on a hotel floor in a sleeping bag.
This blog is not about the fact that the chances of these girls medaling for the US is so high that we are crazy not to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at them so that they may train to the full capacity of the other “popular” Olympic Sports.
No, it’s not about that at all.
This blog is about this: I spent 3 hours this last Saturday morning watching the girls jump.
And i had my 10 year old daughter with me.
And these girls, the youngest, Sarah Hendrickson at 16, and her 2009 World Champion colleague, Lindsey Van, at 26, and the 7 in between, are the most beautiful, kindest, and hard-core-drop-dead-balls-out-bad-ass-women i have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
And i will never forget the look on my daughter Savannah’s face when they picked her up, of their own accord, and celebrated breaking the goddamn glass ceiling for all future generations of female athletes. And Savannah, still disillusioned to the significance of the moment, laughed her heart out.
i’m done writing blogs about things that don’t matter.
And if it doesn’t matter to you, that’s ok.
Just pick something that does, and defend it to your very core.
It’s all i ask, and it’s all the beautiful 9 would ask too.
Enjoy the following photos from Saturday, taken by Dan Campbell, photograher extraordinaire (www.dancampbellphotography.com). He has earned the girls’ trust, and volunteers his talent graciously, right down to the bone.
It is my hope, in a small way, that this brings significance to the importance of that hot bowl of oatmeal on April 6, 2011.
UPDATE, as of 12/23/2011.
mark this down, because it’s an extraordinary postscript to this story.
Sarah Hendrickson, age 17, has just won the FIRST EVER Women’s World Cup for Ski Jumping in Lillehammer, Norway.
OK, disclaimer… i do NOT KNOW WHO TOOK THESE PHOTOS, but is it NOT ME… it is someone so much more talented than me and as soon as i find out who, i will give complete credit!
But this, this is about the Women Ski Jumpers, and of all the nonsensical (is that a word?) blogs i have written, this is not only the most meaningful to me personally, but has also had the most readers of any blog i’ve written, and i didn’t even swear!!!!!
So please please please please, if you are reading THIS VERY SENTENCE, will you help these women by doing three very simple tasks:
1) SHARE this blog post on your facebook, twitter, or google plus (not that i have any f(*cking clue how to use it, seriously, google…) page.
2) watch, share, and spread the word on the READY TO FLY documentary, from the amazing Bill Kerig so that they are the heros in Sochi when these women make the Olympic games the first EVER winter games to be gender equal.
3) LIKE the women’s ski jumping facebook page to show that this is a truly meaningful cause. Be the person that gets total gratification from a competition that allows both sexes!
on behalf of the women who have been jumping since i learned that Milli Vanilli were lip synching, and my mother, Deedee Corradini, who’s shoes will take a lifetime to fill, Dan Campbell who has been the man behind the lens for these women, capturing their grace and beauty, and finally Bill Kerig who had the balls to step up and acknowledge that girls can, indeed, fly….
please share, spread, and celebrate…
as would anyone that could fly would do.
TO THE GIRLS! YEEEHHAAAAA!!!!
wow. that’s all.
i heart you, diva.
I also am having trouble in finding words for this post. You said it all…and what you didn’t say…the photos did. I love what your eyes see…I love the way you see the world.
Congratulations TEAM!!! Welcome to the world…
Amazing- but even prouder of my sister and your mother for never giving up the fight and making it happen for these deserving and amazing women. And the photos- wow.
They have larger cajones than I do! There isn’t a fire large enough to get me to do what they do daily! And my biggest question is, what the hell did they land on? I didn’t see a single flake of snow!. But you can be assured that they (the girls) will have my unwavering support as long as I breathe! I just wish it could have happened sooner. Thanks for bringing this amazing, life-changing event to my attention!
Kevin, what an amazing comment you just left… it really lifts my heart to hear how meaningful and heartfelt your chosen words were! it’s so hard for them, being world class athletes in a sport that gets such little attention, and has rejected thier participation since 1924. The stronger voices like you, my friends, our friends, and i speak up to tell their story, the more they get notices, and the better chance that the world appreciates the true ground they are breaking. So yes, THANK YOU.” AC
Amazing story it is. Even more amazing is your incredibly compassionate heart. You draw us to every one of your causes with a brilliantly written blog and you make believers out of us. I want to help. I will donate airline miles to help send one jumper to Ochi.
PS: it’s ’bout time you wrote another blog, I was going through severe withdrawal here 🙂
XO – E
Elizabeth! you are one amazing woman. thank you not only for the kind words, but your INCREDIBLE SUPPORT and offer to help these girls! I can’t tell you what that means, and am so honored to be your pal. To the moon, girl!
I always enjoy your blog postings regardless of content. I’ll be honest, I am coming off the high of the WC11 showing by the USWNT so reading this post automactically made me do a fist pump and look around to give someone a high five to.
I know this particular matter is close to your heart, I knew nothing about it till I started following (slight stalking) your posts since the last Olympics. I am stoked to see the result of a gorup of people fighting for what they believe to be right. I wish there were more success stories out there like this.
So here is a virtual high five for you! and I’ll follow up to find out how one can help.
Sabeeka i am virtually HUGGING you right now!!!! thank you so much for your kind words and support for these girls! And i’m so excited you are willing to pay the story forward to your pals… it’s the best possible outcome of writing on their behalf.
XO to you, girl!
Great blog–beautifully worded and wonderful photos! If anyone out there wants more information or wants to help, go to http://www.wsjusa.com!
Well, have to say in this case the situation is reversed, it is the DAUGHTER who is proud of her MOTHER! to any of you reading these comments, this woman, Deedee Corradini, is the full force behind the effort to bring these amazing female athletes to the forefront of gender discrimination and fought her A** off (i’m not using swear words b/c it’s my momma 🙂 to get Women’s Ski Jumping into the Olympics. A true hero, in my book, and left me huge shoes to fill… (good thing i’ve got hundreds of NIKE’s). It’s all about fighting for something. pouring your heart and soul in it, and giving the middle finger (again, sorry mom) to the obstacles that just make you want to quit. love you!!!
Andrea, DeeDee, Dan, readers, and supporters.
Your passion for my team and our cause gives me motivation to be the best athlete I can be.
I can’t thank you enough for everything that has been done to make my dream a reality. Hope you come and visit us again soon Andrea and Savannah!
Thank you again, so much
Abby, i’ve said it once and i’ll say it over and over until i’m blue in the face… you girls are an incredible inspiration, not only to me, but seriously the impact you had on Savannah is something that i would not trade for all the luxuries in the world. She is forever changed by watching the pure athleticism, power, kindness, and beauty you bestowed upon her last weekend. So for that alone, i’m IN. Back to Park City in August, will make sure we do everything possible to see you all again. xo.
What an amazing story and photos! This is the blog I only wish I had written after first meeting you all and watching you jump! I felt the same way, but Andrea expresses it so exquisitely . . . and those pictures….. !!! I am sharing this with all your sisters in the marathon and track & field world. We’ve been watching you and rooting for you, but with your new Olympic status, we can’t fail you now. You rock! You’re all awesome!
Jacqueline, i can feel your passion! The success of these women is addictive, isn’t it! Please DO spread the word, spread the story, and we’ll ALL yell it from the mountaintops! Thank you for your words, it means a ton and great encouragement. Best, AC.
AC, I was missing your posts!! just LOVE this one… aww! when is next???
so glad you loved it MC!!!! that means a ton. spread the word, these girls need their story told from every continent, and i know you have a strong voice! xo, AC
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