Westminster Students Elated after IOC Announcement
After years of waiting, five Westminster students will finally have a shot at Olympic glory
Contact: Krista DeAngelis or Stephanie Carter (801) 832-2682
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY – They say good things come to those who wait, and this good thing has been a long time coming for five Westminster students.
On Wednesday, April 6th, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that for the first time in Olympic Winter Games history, women will participate in ski jumping, beginning in Sochi, Russia in 2014. Previously, ski jumping and Nordic combined were the only disciplines in the Olympic Winter Games that did not allow women to participate.
Westminster has five students on the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping team:
Nita Englund -Freshman
Avery Ardovino - Sophomore
Abby Hughes - Sophomore
Jessica Jerome - Junior
Alissa Johnson - Junior
In October 2010, the IOC said it was "looking favorably" at adding women's ski jumping to Sochi 2014, but said it needed more time to consider the outcome of the sport's 2011 World Championships in Oslo in February.
In grueling weather conditions and in front of nearly 10,000 spectators, 43 athletes from 15 nations competed in Oslo compared to 36 athletes from 13 nations who competed in Liberec, Czech Republic in 2009. Five of the top six finishers in Oslo were from different countries and ranged in age from 14 to 27.
Jessica Jerome, Alissa Johnson and Abby Hughes, all Westminster students, were there. Jerome placed highest of the three at 14th. Johnson placed 20th and Hughes placed 24th.
"It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. To have it accepted feels amazing," said veteran U.S. jumper Jessica Jerome, who finished sixth overall this season. "This decision gives our sport more validity in the sense that it can only keep growing from here."
Westminster is the Official Provider of Educational Services to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team and offers a USSA tuition grant to all qualifying USSA national athletes. Because of this partnership, outstanding athletes such as those on the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping team have been able to train and compete while working towards their college degrees.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information visit www.westminstercollege.edu or follow @WestminsterSLC on Twitter.