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Hickok SportsThoughts

Sports historian and author Ralph Hickok of www.hickoksports.com sometimes meanders on about current happenings in sports and sometimes looks back in languor.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Do Not Try This at Home

Your average, run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden-variety, ho-hum, humdrum, plain vanilla, white bread kind of skier skier tries to avoid trees. Not always successfully, perhaps, but the thought is definitely there. When a tree pops up out of the snow in the skier's path, instinct and training whisper low, "Avoid it, at all costs."
But there's a relatively new sport in Norway that defies both instinct and training. It's called "tree ski jumping."
No, it's not. On second thought, it's called treski hopper. Or maybe tre ski springer. Because this is Norway we're talking about, and most of the people there speak Norwegian.
I seem to have lost my place. . . oh yes. . .
In this sport, whatever it's called, ski jumpers try to land in trees.
In case you think you didn't hear that correctly, ski jumpers try to land in trees.
The jumper who lands highest is the winner. There's also a very practical reason for landing as high in the target tree as possible: A tree trunk tends to get skinnier as it gets further from the ground.
The second annual championship was held earlier this month in the Hallingskarvet wilderness area, which is about 200 kilometres west of Oslo. Eleven skiers entered.
I haven't been able to find out who won. When I do, I'll post the winner and winning height here.