Nordic athletes head to Park City for Springer Tournee |

Nordic athletes head to Park City for Springer Tournee

The 6-day event kicks off on Monday

Park City Nordic combined athlete Stephen Schumann takes flight at the Springer Tournee last year. Schumann also competed at the Winter Olympics this year.
Park Record file photo

Summers in Park City are usually reserved for activities like hiking and mountain biking, but ski jumping, traditionally a winter sport, also has its place. 

The 23rd annual Jindro Mayer Springer Tournee kicks off on Monday at the Utah Olympic Park and runs through Saturday. Ski jumpers and Nordic combined athletes from across the continent will train and compete all week long. 

“As usual, it’ll be the largest gathering of ski jumping and Nordic combined athletes in North America for the year,” said Adam Loomis, ski jumping and Nordic combined coach at Park City Ski & Snowboard. “We do have some athletes coming down from Canada as well as we’ll have all five of the U.S. divisions. So, that’s the East, Central, Rocky Mountain Division, Intermountain Division – which is us – and Alaska.”

The UOP is uniquely equipped to handle hosting duties for an event like the Springer Tournee, as its various ski jumping hills can accommodate all levels of the sport. The jumps can also be used during the summer. 

“This is the only facility in North America that has the whole gambit of ski jumps,” said Blake Hughes, USA Nordic’s interim chief operating officer. “We have a 10-meter, which is for 6- to 8-year-olds, we have a 20-meter, which is for 9- to 11-year-olds. And then we have a 40-meter, which is for 12- to 14-year-olds, and then we have a 60-meter, which is for 14-15. And then we have the two Olympic jumps with the 90 and the 120.”

One of the event’s highlights will be on Tuesday, when younger athletes will be mentored and coached by members of the national team. Participants will also undergo some testing for historical data collecting. 

“It’s a cool opportunity for the younger kids to get to know the current national team athletes,” Loomis said. 

“It’s also valuable for (the national team athletes),” Hughes added. “They really enjoy it when they get to mentor the younger athletes because we’ve gotten to the point where they were mentored before. So, it’s kind of shifted into they’re becoming more of the sensei to the grasshoppers now.”

Parkites will also have the opportunity to see some of this year’s Olympians compete in person. Park City natives Jared Shumate and Stephen Schumann, who made their Olympic debuts in Nordic combined, are scheduled to be in town for the event, as well as fellow Olympians Jasper Good, Anna Hoffmann, Ben Loomis and more. 

National team athletes will be competing Saturday morning in HS-100 ski jumping, and then the weekend will wrap up with roller ski races for Nordic combined at Soldier Hollow later that evening. 

“It’s a good opportunity for all the athletes to come together,” Hughes said. “We try to train together, be together as much as possible. But with four disciplines between men’s and women’s ski jumping and Nordic combined, they’re rarely together. This is an opportunity to get the entire community together from the community all the way down.”

There will also be a soiree on Wednesday night in Park City as a fundraising event for USA Nordic. More information on the week’s schedule and the soiree can be found on USA Nordic’s website.

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