If there were ever an almanac of rising stars, Sarah Hendrickson would be in contention for the cover photo. Still a teenager, the young ski jumper has already won a U.S. title, a World Championship gold medal and a World Cup globe, making her one of the youngest skiers ever, male or female, to do so.
Hendrickson’s 2013 season should have been hampered by an offseason knee surgery that kept her out of jumping for over six months, but that’s not what happened. Instead, with extremely limited training, the Park City native grabbed a World Ski Championships gold and finished second overall in the World Cup standings.
Add those results with her World Cup overall first place in 2012 (the inaugural World Cup season for women’s ski jumping), a silver medal in the 2012 Junior World Championships and a second place finish in the 2012 Continental Cup, and it’s hard to believe that Hendrickson hasn’t yet seen her 20th birthday.
Along with teammates Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome, Hendrickson sees 2014 as a chance to make history by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal awarded in women’s ski jumping.
Last April I had knee surgery and that put me out for six months of jumping. With that, I went into the first World Cup in December with less than 50 training jumps from the summer months (300 is normal). The season still went pretty well and looking back, I am satisfied with my World Cup overall second place. However, I had some poor competitions and mid-season I was clearly showing my lack of training from the summer.
Come the World Championships event in February, I had many more training jumps under my belt and was ready for the big event. I walked away with the win and was overjoyed by that. Both the result and my technique were finally back and I was/am beyond satisfied.
Next, we start training in the gym May 1st and then jumping June 1st. I am ready for a summer without high school or injuries and looking forward to an exciting Olympic year.
Skiing runs in the Hendrickson family – ski jumping, in fact. Since both her father and older brother were ski jumpers, it was only natural that Sarah Hendrickson was on skis by the age of two. As a seven-year-old, Hendrickson watched the Olympics in awe and got an early start jumping at the Utah Olympic Park. “My brother started jumping when he was eight in an after-school program. After watching him do it for two years I got tired of watching him and decided to try it myself!”
OFF THE SNOW
Before finishing high school last fall, school took up most of her time outside of training. Now she has a little more time to enjoy her other hobbies, including skiing, running, hiking, biking and most recently, slack-lining. She grew up in an outdoor family, so anything to get her heartbeat going, especially in the outdoors, can’t be ruled out.
- Women's Ski Jumping USA
- 2014 Sochi
- 2018 Pyeongchang
- Years on Team: 6
1st, HS, Val di Fiemme, ITA, 2013
16th, NH, Oslo, NOR, 2011
Inaugural World Cup Champion, winning 9 of 13 events, 2012
2nd, World Cup overall, 2013
Continental Cup (predecessor to World Cup)
13 podiums including four wins
2nd overall, 2012
2011, NH, Park City, UT
Silver, NH, Junior World Championships, 2012
Bronze, NH, Junior World Championships, 2010