Anything possible when FIS Ski Jumping World Cup competition arrives at the Olympic Jumping Complex
Competition among the world’s best is flying high as the International Ski and Snowboard Federation’s (FIS) Ski Jumping World Cup prepares to return to Lake Placid February 9 through 11. Around the world, the biggest names in the sport are battling for the podium week after week, and a showdown seems imminent in the only Ski Jumping World Cup event in North America this season.
In addition to the individual competition, one of only two World Cup Super Team competitions in the entire 2023-24 season is also set to take place right here in Lake Placid. At the only other Super Team competition held in Wisla, Poland, Slovenia set the bar high, but a number of other teams are performing well and poised to soar just as high or higher in the Adirondack skies.
At this point in the season, anything seems possible.
The men’s season began in Ruka, Finland in late November, and Austria’s Stephan Kraft has been a dominant force, racking up as of mid-January four World Cup wins and 989 total points. His closest rival in the overall competition is Germany’s Andreas Wellinger with 757 points.
In fact, the German team is performing extremely well with three athletes – Andreas Wellinger, Pius Paschke, and Karl Geiger – all in the top six overall. Geiger was the first to break Kraft’s winning streak this season with a big win in his home country at Klingenthal. In that competition, Kraft went into the final round in the lead and held that lead until the very last jump, when Geiger soared 146 meters, just a half meter shy of the hill record, to grab the win. That moment was especially poignant because no German had ever previously won the World Cup at Klingenthal.
Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi, currently third in overall standings with 691 points as of mid-January, was another spoiler, flying to a first place finish in a dramatic final in the men’s World Cup in Wisla, Poland and doing so just ahead of both his biggest rivals, Stefan Kraft and Andreas Wellinger. No stranger to the top position on the podium, Wisla was Kobayashi’s 31st World Cup victory in total and his first this season. In fifth place after the first round, he won the day with a truly outstanding final jump.
Glancing Back & Looking Forward
On a bright, beautiful weekend last year in Lake Placid – the first Ski Jumping World Cup event here in 30 years – competition was fierce. Norway’s Halvor Egner Granerud came out on top with his 10th win of the season while Germany’s Andreas Wellinger, Stefan Kraft, Karl Geiger, and Ryoyu Kobayashi finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively.
Bolstered by an enormous turnout of Polish American fans, Piotr Zyla and Dawid Kubacki lifted the Polish team to a stunning triumph in the Super Team competition in Lake Placid over 2nd place Austria and 3rd place Japan. A very strong German team landed in 4th, just slightly under Japan’s point total. All told, the full weekend of World Cup competition, so widely and eager anticipated in the two-time Olympic Village, was one of raw competition that produced unmistakable joy on the part of athletes and spectators alike.
When these international competitors and the throngs of cheering fans return to the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid the second weekend in February, all things will be possible. World Cup competition is, by definition, a test of the best, and at this point in the season, with excellence being demonstrated by such highly experienced, high flying competitors from many different countries, the podium in Lake Placid awaits.