This slideshow requires Adobe Flash Player 9.0 (or higher). JavaScript must be enabled.

 

Ski Jumping Tradition

Photographer: Kimmo Brandt, Compic

 

Mico Ahonen is a 15-year-old ski jumper from Lahti in Finland and son of Janne Ahonen, one of the most successful ski jumpers of all time. Mico’s path in the world of ski jumping started when he was just seven years old, when he jumped two meters from the K6 (beginners hill), and only four years later at the age of 11, he made his first jump from the Lahti HS 130 (professional hill).

 

Mico, along with other junior jumpers in Lahti, is the future hope of Finnish ski jumping. The country has had some twenty World Championship level ski jumpers in the past, the most famous of them are Matti Nykaenen and Janne Ahonen. Since Janne Ahonen's victory in the 2008 Four Hills Tournament (Vierschanzentournee), Finland has had very little success in the Olympic Games and in the Ski Jumping World Cup competitions. However, the sport is highly regarded and popular in the country and the fans hope for a new star.

 

In this stage of his career Mico trains for five to six days a week at the HS 100 normal hill. The young prospects of the finish ski jumping team, are assigned with a personal coach and they undergo a specific training program. The junior ski jumpers take part in a national and Nordic levels competitions and Mico also has competed in the European Youth Olympics Winter Festival 2017 in Turkey.

 

To help in starting the ski jumping, Lahti Skiing Society's Ski Jumping department provides skis, shoes, jumping suits and helmets for the first two years for the children that want to start the sport. In Lahti they have very good jumping facilities, which can be used both in winter and summer seasons, including five jumping hills from K6 to K38, for children. In the beginning of 2015, foreseeing the upcoming of the FIS Nordic Skiing World Championship in Lahti and the 100 jubilee year of Finnish independence at 2017, some active members of Lahti Skiing Society's Ski Jumping section started recruiting children over 6 years for happenings. Thanks to these efforts, there are now some 20 children, half of them are girls, on the entry level (6-12 years) and on the same junior level (around 11-15 years of age) as Mico, there are some 10 jumpers, three of them girls, in Lahti. Ski jumping is an exciting and acrobatic sport that requires athletes no fear of heights, balance, power and good reaction time. All aspects of the jump are important: speed, jumping, timing and body control are required to achieve the optimal flying position. When the skier is in the air, there are eight physical and aerodynamical parameters that are linked together, all affecting to the length of the jump.

 

During the summer time, Mico enjoys another speed sport, drag racing. He and his father Janne race both under Ahonen Racing Team.