January 28, 2013 • 09:41:33 a.m.

Top skiers to compete at Norge tourney

By JAMI KUNZER – jkunzer@shawmedia.com

Ski jumpers head to the top of the take-off ramp for the first round of jumps of the men's open on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 30, 2010, at the Norge Ski Club, in Fox River Grove. (Northwest Herald file photo)

It might be called a ski jump, but those competing in the Norge International Ski Jumping Tournament this weekend will fly.

The annual event in Fox River Grove will feature top skiers from around the world, including Norway, Poland, Finland and Ukraine.

They'll soar roughly 200 feet in the air as they compete in the third leg of the Midwestern 5 Hills Tour, a part of the U.S. Cup Series.

As with most ski jump events, several thousand spectators are expected, said Charlie Sedivec, publicity chair for the Norge Ski Club in Fox Rover Grove, which hosts the event.

"I think it's one of the most spectacular, exciting sports to see, to watch a guy come down the scaffolding at 150 miles an hour and hurl himself through the air," he said.

Two of the Finish skiers expected to compete Sunday are considered two of the best in the world, Sedivec said.

But don't count out a couple local competitors, he said. Kevin Bickner of Wauconda and A.J. Brown of Fox River Grove will compete in tournaments on Saturday and Sunday.

"They could surprise everybody and beat everybody out," Sedivec said. "They'll be the Americans to watch."

The weekend tournament, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, includes a Junior Competition and the Junior National Championship Qualifier K70 on Saturday.

On Sunday, skiers will compete in the K70 U.S. Cup Five Hills Tournament and Long-Standing Competition.

All will leap toward a new Norge Hill distant record.

"Sunday is the top guns of the sport," Sedivec said.

Hosting the tournament is an honor for the Norge Ski Club, which was founded in 1905 by a small group of Norwegian immigrants and has become one of the world's oldest continuous ski jumping facilities. In its 108-year history, the club as never cancelled a ski meet, Sedivec said.

The event features food, drink and music as "very much a family party oriented event," he said. "We're trying this year a little more than others to expand on our Norwegian roots as a club with our selections of music," he said.

To host the event, the Norge's 70-meter hill had to meet numerous requirements and specification, he said.

"It really is a pat on the back to the entire club," he said.

"Being we're the oldest continuous running club in North America, we figure if we don't know how to do it, nobody can."

•••

108th Annual Norge International Ski Jumping Tournament
WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 26, and 27. (Gates open at 11 a.m.) Junior Competition and the Junior National Championship Qualifier K70 on Saturday. The K70 U.S. Cup Five Hills Tournament and Long-Standing Competition on Sunday.
WHERE: Norge Ski Club, 100 Ski Hill Road, 3/4 of a mile north of Routes 14 and 22. A shuttle bus will pick up Sunday only at Dominick's at Route 22 and Route 14.
COST: Pre-sale cost is $10 for buttons purchased at local merchants by Friday, Jan. 25; $11 if purchased online at www.norgeskiclub.com; $15 at the gate. Free admission for children 12 and younger. For information, visit www.norgeskiclub.com or call 847-639-9718.


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