Vierschanzen Tournee (Four Hills) is the second best-known ski jumping competition after the Winter Olympics. It was created in 1953 and has since been taking place every year.
As the name suggests, Four Hills are made up of 4 individual competitions - Oberstdorf (29.12.), Garmisch-Partenkirchen (1.1.), Innsbruck (4.1.) & Bischofshofen (6.1.). The first two belong to Germany, the last two to Austria.
Jumpers earn points in two ways; first, for each hill they earn points that count toward the overall standing in the World Cup (1st place- 100, 2nd - 80, 3rd - 60, etc.); second, their actual points at each competition are put together to get the overall winner of the Tournee. Winners get prize money for each hill separately as well as for the overall title. Prize money for the overall title has increased considerably in the last decade and added even more prestige to the Tournee!
Several jumpers succeeded in winning 3 of the 4 hills, but it was only in 2001/2 that one man managed to capture all 4 of them - Sven Hannavald of Germany. In doing so, he made history and earned himself German athlete of the year award. That says it all about the importance and popularity of the Four Hills.
Lucky enough to see the 2011 4hills event at Innsbrück. Around 15000 people crammed into the stadium so a great atmosphere and thrilled when an Austrian, Thomas Morgenstern, won.
A fantastic afternoons entertainment.
The skyjumping is located on the Bergisel Mountain near Innsbruck. It was completed to end of 2001 and it borned from the winning project of OSH in the 1999 . You can see it from everywhere in the town. Two liftes carry you on the panoramic floor where you can have a great view.
Janne won his first overall title in 1999, capturing it without winning any of the individual hills. This year (2003), he was determined to become the overall winner again, but with at least one individual hill trophy. He looked very strong already in Garmisch where he jumped further than the others, losing style marks because he touched the ground.
At the training and qualifications in Innsbruck his jumps weren't the longest because he was evidently shortening them. Much to delight of Seni & me and not so much to delight of Sven Hannavald's supporters, Janne let loose his brakes on the competition day. He was in lead after the 1st round and he remained no. 1 after the final round as well.
Did he smile? Yes, believe it or not, he did!!! After the landing.
During the prize ceremony, the presenter begged him "Janne, please smile!" and the whole stadium burst into laughter. The whole stadium, but not our Janne.
The audience had another chance for a good laugh when Janne was presented with the most desired award by any Finn--a new Siemens mobile phone! ;-))
Is ski-jumping considered an "Extreme Sport"? It is fun to watch: even if you live far from mountains, it's not hard to appreciate the courage involved. And there is a natural appreciation of human beings who manage to fly, even if only for a few seconds.
A major Innsbruck attraction is the ski-jumping tower that rises on a steep hillside in the near-suburbs of the city. This was the site of ski-jump towers used in the 1964 and '76 Olympics, although the present structure is quite new, just opened in 2002 and designed from the fashionable and trendy architect Zaha Hadid. DO visit, and if you are fortunate the Austrian national team will be practicing while you are there,
From our hotel room we also saw the famous Ski Jumping hill, Bergisel. Innsbruck has hosted the Olympic Games twice, 1964 and 1976, both before my time.
Unfortunately due to the short time in Innsbruck we did not have time to visit the Olympic City, as I've been told that it is well worth the trip!
So, why is Bergisel stadium such a great venue to watch skijumping? The main advantage is that the jumpers go up a hill to brake after their landing. This makes the stadium much smaller so you are much closer to action and the atmosphere is better.
Equipment: You still need a big zoom to get great pictures.
Each year the 4 hills torunament comes to Innsbruck for a few days and it´s a fantastic sport to watch. The stadium here at the Berisel is very modern and you have a good view on the jump.... You get very near to the action.....
Equipment: Binoculars, national flags for your favourite jumpers, cameras with high ASA films, Zoom.....good VT friends!!!
The third stage of the skijumping four hill tournament takes place at Innsbruck's Bergisel stadium. We went here for training and qualification to experience the great stadium (we couldn't go to the competition because we were leaving that day). The stadium is small and it still holds 20000 people. The atmosphere is great and you can see the jumpers perfectly in this stadium.
Equipment: We were told to take warm clothes like skiing trousers but in the end I was only wearing jeans and a jumper because it was so warm.... 12C. That's not normal for early January though so dress warmly!
Apart from warm clothes you need a camera with a big zoom, lots of fan equipment like Milka heads, German telekom waving hands and a "Hanni, ich will ein Kind von Dir" sign.... ;-) Or just take your Finnish flag like we did :)
I never did skijumping, but we visited the stadion Bergisel, and it was really great. I think, I am not crazy enough to try skijumping!
If you start ski-jumping when you are young, you never "learn" to be fearful. I would think that it's something which would be quite difficult to take up when you are a little older - say over 30.