The 2015 Winter Carnival is now in the record books and some of the young jumpers shared their stories on what it is like to compete in the ski jumping event at the Iola Winter Sports Club complex.
Chloe Arneson, 11, who jumps for the Tri-Norse team out of Wisconsin Rapids, represents the fourth generation of jumpers from her family.
“My dad, my grandpa Korey Arneson and my great-grandpa Ole Arneson used to jump,” Arneson said. “I have heard their stories and wanted to give it a try.”
Arneson has been jumping since she was 5 and seems to really enjoy the activity.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “When I land, I do get a little afraid because I don’t want to hurt myself.”
The idea of one day going off the 60-meter hill does not excite her.
“No way am I going to do that,” she said. “That is pretty high.”
Arneson’s father, Christian, hopes she will change her mind one day.
“I hope she keeps it up,” he said. “We will continue to encourage her as the future of women’s ski jumping is wide open. The opportunity is there.”
Arneson’s cousin, Olivia Kurtweil, 7, is jumping as well.
“I think this is cool,” she said.
Unlike her cousin, she has set her sights on the 60m hill.
“I hope I can do it one day,” Kurtweil said. “I would like to fly from way up there.”
Eight-year-olds Garrison Gordon and Phillip Johnsrud were the only two competitors to represent The Iola Winter Sports Club.
“Jumping is my favorite thing,” Gordon said. “The wipeouts hurt, though.”
Gordon is proud to be a part of an Iola tradition.
“It feels good,” he said. “If I practice, I will get better and better.”
Johnsrud was going off the 10-meter hill for the first time.
“I was going and going down the jump,” he said. “I jumped as hard as I could and well, I fell on my butt.”
The self-proclaimed daredevil said he wasn’t scared.
“You fly,” he said. “You really fly through the air and when your skis hit the ground, it makes a cool sound. It’s exciting, it’s fun and a little bit dangerous.”
Johnsrud said he is mastering his techniques with the help of his parents, Phil and Mary.
“I know I can be a good jumper,” he said. “I will take it year by year and one day I hope I can go off the 60m hill.
“I am a daredevil,” he added. “I will get the job done.”