IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Each year, ski jumping athletes from around the world visit Pine Mountain for the Continental Cup.
"Iron Mountain has a reputation in Europe as being the funnest Continental Cup ski jumping venue in the world. And we didn't let them down again this year," says Kiwanis Ski Club Secretary Susie Fox, with a smile.
Despite Friday, Feb. 8's, jumping cancellation, Pine Mountain hosted another great Continental Cup competition, seeing thousands come to Iron Mountain.
"This year we had 15 countries, usually we average between nine and 12 countries, so this was an amazing year," Fox continues.
Sunday's jumping saw 51 athletes take to the top of the hill to crown the final day's winner. Norway's Marius Lindvik took first on the final day with 271.6 points, just 1.5 points better than second place finisher Markus Schiffner of Austria. The Norwegian reached a top speed of 90.4 kilometers per hour and distance of 133.5 meters on his second jump of the day; his first jump topping at 90.0 kilometers per hour and traveling 124.5 meters.
"I can speak for all the ski jumpers that travel here - it's a very popular competition and everyone is really looking forward to go here because this hill is insane. It's a highlight for the ski jumpers to go here," says Sunday's winner, Marius Lindvik.
Ski jumping at Pine Mountain has been a constant for a long time, starting in 1939. This year was the 80th anniversary, and the Kiwanis Ski Club hopes to keep the tradition going for many years to come, but they'll need some upgrades in order to continue.
"We are in the middle of a fundraising project to rebuild the tower. The safety requirements by the International Ski Federation have changed and we need to comply, so it's about $3 million to get our project done. So if anyone's interested in making a pledge to keep this great tradition and fantastic family event going, they can go to www.soaringintothefuture.com and make a pledge, and they will support the most amazing thing that happens in the Upper Peninsula in February," says Fox.
Each year, the event wouldn't be possible without the sponsors and community.
"Bellin Health is our title sponsor but we get great support from many, many businesses around this community that have done it for years and years. I would name them all but I don't want to leave any out, so thank you to all those sponsors," Fox adds.