Although the ski jumping competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics is in the middle of its program, events that already concluded caught fans off guard with some shocking final results.
Athletes who have previously been extremely successful in the World Cup rankings and were expected to perform well at the 2022 Games now must prioritize the last two events to win medals; the upcoming large hill and team competitions.
Favorites including Karl Geiger of Germany, and Norway’s Marius Lindvik and Robert Johansson, have not been able to find their spot on the podium. They missed out on top finishes in both the men’s normal hill and mixed team events.
Japan’s Sara Takanashi was among the top ski jumpers, but fell short of victory in the women's normal hill. She came into the 2022 Games as the bronze medalist from PyeongChang and searched for a golden upgrade. She finished right outside the podium in fourth with a combined score of 224.1.
While the top contenders often fell short of huge jumps with flawless technique, their finish off the podium allowed for up-and-coming jumpers to leave their mark on the Olympic stage. Canada’s mixed team thrived in the final despite varying levels of Olympic experience. Matt Soukup aided the bronze medal-effort and posted to his Instagram page in celebration.
In her second Winter Olympics, Ursa Bogataj of Slovenia grabbed gold for the first time. She did a complete 180 from when she finished last in the event at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.
World Champions like Ryoyu Kobayashi did exactly what they were expected to do. In a huge jump off the ramp, Kobayashi won gold in the men’s normal hill with a sizable gap, compiling a total of 275.0 total points.
Some of the biggest names in ski jumping will look for redemption in the men’s large hill competition. The qualification round begins on Feb. 11 at 4:45 a.m. E.T. and finals take place on Feb. 12 at 5:00 a.m. E.T.