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Olympic Ski Jumping



Olympic Ski Jumping
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.95

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Mikkel, maintain, various, based, daring, military, airborne, lowest, meters, cross-country, skier, backs, rate, poles, height, receive
     content words:    Sondre Nordheim, United States, Mikkel Hemmestvedt, Thulin Thams, Sigmund Rudd, Winter Olympics


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Olympic Ski Jumping
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     You are at the top of a hill waiting for the bell. When it is your time, you push off. You glide down the ramp at top speed. Finally, you lift off and begin your 30-second flight. No, you have not turned into a bird. You are experiencing the event of Olympic ski jumping.
 
2     Let's go back to Norway in 1860. Ski jumping existed many years before 1860. However, Sondre Nordheim had the first officially measured jump during this year. Nordheim jumped over a rock without poles. He reached a distance of 30 meters. In 1862, the first ski jumping contest took place in Trysil, Norway. Ski jumping was also used by the Scandinavian military since the 1500s. Norway, Sweden, and Finland trained their soldiers to jump on skis. Farmers also used jumping in place of cross-country skiing.
 
3     Ski jumping became a regular event at ski carnivals in Norway. It became very popular in 1892. The Norwegian royal family donated the "King's Cup" as a trophy for one of Norway's annual contests. Ski jumping came to the United States during the 1880s. Norwegian immigrants taught the sport to Americans. The first American ski jump contest happened on February 8, 1887. Mikkel Hemmestvedt, a Norwegian immigrant, was the winner.

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