USA Nordic’s Story Project highlights and helps ski jumping culture and community

PARK CITY, Utah — When December ends, so does USA Nordic’s annual month-long fundraising campaign called Story Project. This year, in its 12th year, it raised $67,285.50 in donations towards the nonprofit, which manages ski jumpers and Nordic combined athletes of all ages, all skill levels and from all over the country.

How does Story Project work? It’s pretty straightforward: People, any people, write in to the website in Dec. No one needs any specific knowledge of — or connection to — the sports, venues, or athletes. Anyone simply shares thoughts or photos on the subject, and those are shared out once per day for 31 days.

Readers are enlightened, educated and perhaps mostly entertained by the stories and moved to make monetary donations.

Some contributors do happen to have particular tribal knowledge, like Bari-Nan Rothchild, mom of Park City High School ski jumper Seth Rothchild. She writes with The Week Junior magazine and penned an article about Park City ski jumping, which was printed in the New York Times. Rothchild is a strong advocate for and frequent contributor to Story Project. She explains to Parkites that neither writing experience nor sport experience are necessary. She encourages locals to write a blurb to USA Nordic next Dec., even if just about how they took a tour of the Utah Olympic Park one time, rode the zip lines down over the big green plastic jump hills or rode a mountain bike up the adjacent trails and how that made them feel. Perhaps they watched the athletes fly through the air the distance of a football field and a half during the Olympics, and it sparked a story.

Rothchild told TownLift, “I think U.S. Ski & Snowboard National Team coach Trevor Edlunds’ story on Dec. 10 said it best: The Nordic sport community is a family. Our family was welcomed in eight years ago, and now we actively participate in bringing more people curious about this sport into the fold. Park City Ski and Snowboard Coach Adam Loomis’ story on Dec. 4  shared his perspective on a story many of us witnessed, as he coached a twenty-something never-ever toward an ambitious goal. I think my favorite part of that story was the way Adam shared his love of the sport with someone who wanted to set ambitious goals. He encouraged this athlete to go for it, and I believe he imparted his love for the process to this athlete. That’s something he does for all of his athletes, but it was particularly poignant in the story he told. FIS official Alan Johnson’s story on Dec. 28 is a historical account of the formation and growth of USA Nordic, which really captures the dedication of the community to supporting the growth of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined development programs across the country, as a critical component of supporting the National team programs. It’s inspiring to understand that everyone who invests in this sport does so on behalf of the youngest athletes — even those who haven’t yet taken their first jump. The promise that they will be able to try it one day is intrinsic to the spirit of the organization.”

If people want to donate to USA Nordic before next Dec., they may click here to do so at any point throughout the year. Or perhaps on Saturday, Jan. 21, National Ski Jumping Day.

You May Also Like
TownLift Is Brought To You In Part By These Presenting Partners.

Add Your Organization