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PARK CITY, Utah — The 24th annual Jindro Mayer Springer Tournee, hosted by the Park City Ski and Snowboard Team (PCSS) at the Utah Olympic Park wrapped up on Saturday after a week in which the nations ski jumping and nordic combined athletes and their families gathered for competition and community, not necessarily in that order.
Development athletes always get custom bibs with names on them to encourage getting to know the newer families in Park City from Alaska, Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, Vancouver, Calgary, Japan, France, Michigan, New Hampshire, Colorado, Illinois, and Minnesota. Also everyone gets a custom t-shirt with some insider message on it. This year’s message came in the form of an image of a caterpillar, a term of endearment from international fans. The word caterpillar roughly translates to the name Gasienica in the Polish language. The reference is to honor the memory of Patrick Gasienica, a 2022 Beijing Ski Jumping Team USA Olympian who tragically passed away from a motorcycle accident mere months ago.
Gasienica’s Olympic teammate, ski jumper Kevin Bickner was in attendance at Mentorship Day at the Basin Rec. Fieldhouse where he told TownLift, “We’re all really sad as we remember Patrick this week, he always enjoyed competing at the Springer Tournee, having grown up ski jumping at the UOP. He split his time between Utah and Chicago. Here in Park City was the first place I met him when we were young, then years later I was at his first world cup in Italy which was super fun, then we got to travel the world together. Patrick is on all our minds this week.”
Another difference this year was having Park City’s Anders Johnson at the helm as the new Sport Director for USA Nordic as opposed to the decades of his participation as an athlete, then as a coach.
One new event was the week-culminating Target Jump, whereby athletes spin a wheel to determine which meter they need to land on for accuracy points. Normally distance is the point, however, just for fun, the big hills athletes and the crowd got a kick out of this new competition format which followed the US Ski and Snowboard format for the U.S. Cup on the previous day.
The last new event during this Springer Tournee was a transition cross country ski (roller ski in the summer) and trail running combo. After all the athletes transitioned, pit crew style, out of their skis, boots, poles, and helmet and were nearly done with their run portion, two of them succumb to the summer sun with temporary heat-related illness. They were transported by ground to local medical facilities where they were treated and released, spending the night in their own beds. A parent of one of those athletes, the following morning told TownLift, “If it wasn’t for the quick thinking and rapid response of the coaches and UOP EMTs it could have ended up with a worse outcome.”
Among the multitude of Olympians on hand all week was Park City’s nordic combinder Stephen Schumann. He told TownLift about his experience all week, “I had a couple decent jumps, but more importantly it’s always awesome to have the whole nation travel to Park City to compete, especially all the younger athletes here working on progressing their skills while having some fun.” Additionally, he spoke about his plans for fall, “We’re off to Norway in a couple weeks, then competing around Europe for the FIS Grand Prix, and back to the States for Nationals in Lake Placid in October.”
With too many competition categories to capture here, the following are the results specifically podiums pertaining to hometown skiers representing PCSS with some from regional rivals representing Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC).
Ski Jumping, Senior Female K90, U.S. Cup (large hills):
- Paige Jones PCSS
- Josie Johnson PCSS
- Samantha Macuga PCSS
Nordic Combined, Senior Male K90 (large hills):
- Grant Andrews SSWSC
- Stephen Schumann PCSS
- Nicholas Malacinski SSWSC
Ski Jumping, Team Comp K90 (large hills):
- Josie Johnson/Sawyer Graves PCSS/SSWSC
- Annika Malecisnski/Jason Colby SSWSC/SSWSC
- Paige Jones/Carter Brubaker PCSS/Team AK
Nordic Combined, Male K10 (small hills):
- George Maul SSWSC
- Lincoln Hull PCSS
- Landon McGauphy PCSS
Nordic Combined Male K40 (small hills):
- Liam Demong PCSS
- Langdon Devin SSWSC
- Luke Miller PCSS
Sandwiched between a BYO BBQ and a pizza party and the food truck finals sponsored by PCSS was a donor dinner hosted by USA Nordic which was led by Park City Olympian Jared Shumate and local National Team member Samantha Macuga along with University of Utah student, Olympian Anna Hoffman. If you missed it, you can donate here.
Park City ski jumping Olympian Linsey Van was the Technical Delegate for the Springer Tournee while nordic combined Olympic gold and silver medalist Billy Demong was the man on the mic announcing all the action. Savvy sports spectators saw Olympians Bryan and Taylor Fletcher cheering former team members joined on the sidelines by Park City Olympians Eric Camerota, and Abby Ringquist.
Current two time Olympian ski jumper Casey Larson, who had some of the weeks longest jumps landing past the 100 meter mark, told TownLift, “Jumping far is definitely fun, it’s my job and it’s good when I can make all the training pay off like for those longer landings. The Springer Tournee is always one of the best weeks all year for the USA Nordic community. This winter will be exciting as we strive to be top 30 in the world on the world cup circuit with my teammates, we’ve got a nice young team and we’re hungry for success, for sure.”
USA Nordic teamed up with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team to further team up with four Norwegian coaches in town for the event. Not only did they impart their wisdom and knowledge to the National team members but also their country’s winning traditions to the younger athletes. Their competition found fun rules on the small hills, i.e., instead of simply distance and style points, judges ranked the six to 12 year olds on non-traditional moves like, the biggest ‘spread eagle’ not unlike in year’s past where catching a kickball in the air and giggle-inducing best dance moves on the jump were the order of the day. After awards, Adam Loomis, Race Director, bid all the visiting families a fond farewell as his final official duty.
All photos by: Michele Roepke // TownLift.