Last week, 40 ski jumpers from across the country, ages 7 to 18, met in Anchorage, Alaska, for a weeklong training camp that ended with a 12-hour jump-a-thon during Friday’s solstice. Instead of snow, participants jumped on a plastic surface continuously from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. to raise funding for their local ski clubs. “Summer solstice is an unofficial holiday in Alaska,” says NSAA Jumping Committee Chair Karen Compton.
Skiers logged well over 1,000 jumps on the four hills of the Karl Eid facility, located ten miles fom downtown Anchorage. And they almost certainly surpassed last year’s fundraising total of $5,000, though exact amounts are still being tallied.
For one summer day in Alaska, the kids skied under a sun that never really set. “It’s pretty cool,” says ten-year-old flyer Jamay Wingard. “I hope my parents let me stay up late.”
Photo: Zach Grzesik of the Kennett Ski Club practices his ski jump takeoff on the rollerboard while coach Chris Lamb watches.