During the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Sarah Hendrickson, then just 7, fell in love with ski jumping. “I saw that the ultimate goal was flying a football field in the air,” she says. “That was pretty cool.” Makes sense. But for years, Hendrickson was unsure if women’s ski jumping would be let into the Olympics. After the Vancouver Games, the International Olympic Committee finally relented, and women’s ski jumping is making its debut in Sochi. Hendrickson, 19, is the defending world champ, but she’s had to overcome injury: back in August, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and meniscus in her right knee. The pain has impacted her training; her medal chances now look slim.
Meet Team USA: Sarah Hendrickson
Meet the 18 year old ski-jumper hoping to compete in this year's Olympics