History was made at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, there was a ladies competition and Carina Vogt of Germany won the gold medal, with Jessica Jerome, the top American in 10th place.
Only once in the history of the Olympic Winter Games has an American won a medal in ski jumping and it was nearly a century ago. At the 1924 Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, Anders Haugen, a Norwegian-born American, won the bronze medal in the men's large hill individual competition. Interestingly, the large hill in 1924 was 71 metres. At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, the world's best ski jumpers will jump off a hill of 140 metres.
Nita Englund is the American with the best chance to win a medal in ski jumping in Pyeongchang. Englund has 15 top 10 finished in her career, including a silver medal in a women's ski jumping World Cup in Rasnov, Romania in 2015. Englund also has a seventh and an eighth place finish at World Cups in Pyeongchang in 2017.
Englund will be joined on the United States Olympic team in women's ski jumping by Sarah Hendrickson, who was the surprise winner of the United States Olympic Ski Jumping Trials in Park City, Utah in December. Hendrickson won the women's World Cup standings in ski jumping in 2012 and the gold medal at the 2013 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. However over the last four years Hendrickson has had a torn ACL and four knee surgeries, making it impressive that she even came back to ski jumping at all.
Vogt, the two-time world champion in addition to her Olympic title, will be challenged in Pyeongchang by Japan's Yuki Ito and Sara Takanashi, who finished second and third respectively behind Vogt at the 2017 World Championship. Ito and Takanashi each won a World Cup competition in Pyeongchang and Takanashi was the 2017 World Cup champion. On the men's side, Poland is heading to the Olympic Winter Games with a lot of depth and could win medals in all three men's events.
Here are my Olympic predictions in ski jumping:
Men's Normal Hill Ski Jumping:
Event: Feb. 10--7:35 am ET/4:35 am PT
Men's Large Hill Ski Jumping:
BRONZE--Daniel Andre Tande--Germany
Event: Feb. 17--7:30 am ET/4:30 am PT
Men's Team Ski Jumping:
Event: Feb. 19--7:30 am ET/4:30 am PT
Women's Ski Jumping:
GOLD-- Sarah Takanashi--Japan
Event: Feb. 12--7:50 am ET/4:50 am PT