Ski jumping was begun in 1866 by a man named Sondre Norheim in Telemark, Norway. In later years, the sport spread to areas of Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States with eagerly watching crowds in masses of over 100,000.

Ski jumping is judged on both style and distance. Skiers can jump over 165 meters (or 542 feet).

Ideal form behind ski jumping includes a skier taking a step out onto the hill, crouching into a similiar position as traditional downhill skier in order to minimize wind resistance. This form is also used to provide best possible take-off. The ski jumper then springs forward over his ski tips at take-off. The jumper then leaves the lip of the take-off, his ski tips rising. If he takes off with his ski tips falling or pointing downwards, his jump won't be as successful.

In flight, the jumper will swing his arms one or twice, forward and backward a few times. After the jumper springs over his skis, he will move his arms to his sides because it is the easiest way to carry himself during flight.

Also while in the air, the skis are held horizontal or slightly above horizontal in order to ride the air current. This also keeps wind pressure below the skis themselves. During flight, the ski jumper will try to hold a steady, controlled position as long as possible before the tails of his skis make contact with the snow. Then, he will break his flight position into an arm-relaxed "Kneeling Telemark" landing.

SOURCE: Scharff, Robert, ed. Ski Magazine's Encyclopedia of Skiing New York City: Universal Publishing, 1970.