Ski jumpers go flying during 127th annual Silver Mine Invitation - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Ski jumpers go flying during 127th annual Silver Mine Invitational


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Ski jumpers from around the world gathered in the Chippewa Valley Saturday to compete against each other and the high wind speeds in the 127th annual Silver Mine Invitational.

"Jumpers are probably traveling about 50-55 miles an hour once they hit the end of the takeoff," said Dan Mattoon, an event coordinator.

"They get eight to ten feet in the air, the longer jumpers, they'll go almost 300 feet today," Mattoon said.

Excitement was in the air as athletes of all ages hit the slope for the another year of competition.

"This is a brand new hill, and it's awesome, everybody loves it. It rides really smooth, and I think we're all really excited to jump today. Hopefully the wind holds up," said Emilee Anderson of Eau Claire.

Event coordinators moved the start of jumping up an hour on Saturday, hoping to avoid high winds in the area.

"The wind isn't a friend to the ski jumper, especially when it's going to be up to 25, maybe 30 miles per hour," Mattoon said.

"You have to be more cautious I think, and more aware of what you're doing in the air," said Elyse Hoffmann, who came from Madison to compete.

For those who don't feel like flying, the event also included a pond ice hockey event, which looks a bit different than the hockey you might be used to.

"They can't lift the puck off the ice. So it's obviously a little bit different, they don't have the big tall boards, they only have some very small, maybe 6-8 inch boards between the rinks," said Mattoon.

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