Ski jumping governing bodies from the United States and Norway have forged an unprecedented partnership.
USA Nordic Sport and Norges Hopplandslaget announced Wednesday that their national ski jumping teams will share coaches, training facilities, sports science data and efforts to attract sponsors as part of a four-year agreement.
The combined team will be led by Norwegian Clas Brede Bråthen.
Norway is a traditional power in the sport, leading the world with 12 Olympic golds and 36 medals overall. At the Beijing Games in February, Marius Lindvik of Norway won Olympic gold in ski jumping on the large hill.
“Our goal is to solidify Norway’s position as the most important ski jumping nation in the world,” said Bråthen, the national team leader for Norwegian ski jumping. “Combining the resources of the U.S. and Norway will help fulfill our intense desire to be a leader pushing the sport of ski jumping to the highest possible level worldwide.”
The U.S. won its only ski jumping Olympic gold medal at the first Winter Olympics in 1924. American Anders Haugen left the games without any hardware, but 50 years later was awarded bronze after a scoring error was confirmed.
“Our mutual goal is to make our sport more relevant and exciting for young women and men around the world," said Tom Bickner, who chairs the Salt Lake City-based USA Nordic Sport board of directors.
The International Ski Federation said the partnership will also assist other ski jumping teams around the world.
“FIS applauds the unprecedented agreement between Norway and the United States to collaborate toward achieving athletic greatness,” said Sandro Pertile, ski jumping race director for the governing body.
Italy will host the 2026 Olympics, where venues will be very spread out in the northern part of the country, including Trentino for ski jumping.
More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports