Jessica Jerome earned the first American spot in the first women’s ski jumping competition in Olympics history, winning the U.S. trials Sunday.
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Jerome scored 248.5 points on her two jumps to secure a spot in Sochi. Lindsay Van was second, 2.0 points back. Alissa Johnson was third with 240.0 points.
”Honestly, I don’t know if I can wrap my head around it yet,” Jerome said. ”It sounds cliched, but it is a dream come true. I can’t wait to go and represent my country.”
Nicholas Fairall won the men’s competition with 253.5 points to earn his first Olympic spot. Anders Johnson was second, 4.5 points behind. Peter Frenette finished third with 245.5 points.
The other three Olympic spots on each squad will be determined by results in international competition.
Jerome scored 124.0 points on her first jump, clearing 94.5 meters, to take a 1.5-point lead. Van appeared poised to overtake Jerome on her second jump after scoring 124.0 points, but Jerome had a 124.5-point effort.
The trials drew thousands of spectators, one of the largest crowds for a winter sports event in Utah since the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
”It is definitely a feel-good story with a happy ending,” Jerome said. ”People like that. They like to hear about that stuff. It doesn’t surprise me.”
Fairall cleared 96.0 meters on his first jump to score 127.5 points and take a 6.0-point lead over Johnson. After Johnson scored 126.5 points on his second jump, Fairall cleared 96.0 meters again and scored 126.0 points.
”I’ve been dreaming for a long time to go to the Olympics and now I’m glad in my first Olympic trials to be able to do this,” Fairall said. ”It’s really exciting.”