Ski-jumping Season Finale
Women March 3-4 – Rasnov, Romania
Following the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea, the women’s ski-jumping World Cup resumed in Rasnov, Romania with Germany’s Katharina Althaus taking the victory, as she posted the best jump of the day in qualifying. Dangerous wind conditions forced the cancellation of the final round. Olympic champion and World Cup leader Maren Lundby of Norway placed second, while Carina Vogt of Germany came in third. Nita Englund of the U.S.A. was the lone North American, finishing in 39th.
On the second day of competition, Norway’s Lundby bounced back to take the win, dominating the rest of the competitors with 257.8 points and a 20-point margin over Germany’s Althaus, who finished a mere 0.1 points ahead of 17-year-old phenom Nika Kriznar of Slovenia, in third for the first World Cup podium of her career. American Englund bumped up one spot from the previous day, placing 38th, but did not qualify for the final.
March 11 – Oslo, Norway
Norway’s Lundby took her second consecutive World Cup win on the famous Holmenkollen hill. The Olympic gold medalist crushed the opposition with a 30-point gap over second-place Daniela IraschkoStolz of Austria, while Japan’s Yuki Ito rounded out the podium in third. No North Americans competed.
March 24-25 – Oberstdorf, Germany
The season finale was held in Oberstdorf, Germany. Although the overall was already decided, there was still a tough battle for the final podium spots, with Japan’s Sara Takanashi coming out on top. It was a record-breaking performance for this athlete, who earned her 54th World Cup victory. Austria’s Iraschko-stolz placed second, with Norway’s Lundby in third. American Sarah Hendrickson placed 26th.
On Day Two, in the final event Takanashi repeated her victory from the previous day, with her last jump well over the 100-metre mark. It was déjà vu for the podium as well, with Austria’s Iraschko-stolz and Norway’s Lundby joined the Japanese skier. Hendrickson was once again the top U.S. skier, but she did not qualify for the final.
Norway’s Lundby was awarded overall World Cup series title, with Germany’s Althaus second, while Japan’s Takanashi, moved up to take third overall. Abby Ringquist (USA) and Taylor Henrich (CAN) were tied in 45th as the top North Americans. In the battle for the Nations Cup, Germany narrowly beat out Japan by five points.
Men March 3-4 – Lahti, Finland
The Team event greeted the athletes for their first World Cup since the Pyeongchang Games, with Germany coming out on top ahead of Poland. Norway rounded out the podium in third. The American team did not qualify for the final run, and finished 11th.
On the second day of competition, Poland’s Kamil Stoch returned to his winning ways to take over the World Cup series lead by 130 points. Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler nabbed his second podium of the event behind Stoch, while Austria’s Stefan Kraft took third, bouncing back after a rough start to season. U.S. skier Kevin Bickner was the top North American, placing 20th, as Canadian Mackenzie Boyd-clowes, in 32nd, narrowly missed out on qualifying.
March 10-11 – Oslo, Norway
The Olympic champions from Pyeongchang returned to the winner’s circle in Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian team dominated, with Poland almost 60 points behind in second. Austria came out on top of Germany for the bronze medal despite a strong final jump by Andreas Wellinger. No North American teams competed.
Canadian Boyd-clowes posted a fantastic result in the Individual competition, placing 15th with a score of 233.2 points. Daniel Andre Tande of Norway took the win as Stoch of Poland set the bar high in qualifying, but plummeted to sixth in the final. A pair of Austrians followed, with Kraft and Michael Hayboeck taking second and third respectively. Bickner was the only American competing and placed 36th.
Oslo also hosted the opening round of the RAW AIR Tournament, with Poland’s Stoch in the lead, followed by a posse of Norwegians that included Robert Johansson, Johann Andre Forfang and Tande close behind. The Tournament toured Norway with stops in Lillehammer and Trondheim, with the finale in Vikersund on March 18.
March 13 – Lillehammer, Norway
Poland’s Stoch extended his lead in the RAW AIR Tournament with a win in Lillehammer. He outclassed his opponents to take the 28th World Cup win of his career. Another Pole joined him on the podium with David Kubacki in second, while home-town star Johansson was third. Canadian Boyd-clowes just squeaked into the final, placing 27th overall to sit 32nd in the RAW AIR standings.
March 15 – Trondheim, Norway
Stoch of Poland took his fifth win out of six events at the RAW AIR series with a new Hill record of 146 metres in the process. Austria’s Kraft and Norway’s Johansson filled out the podium in second and third. Bickner of the U.S.A. broke a cold spell and qualified for the finals, ending up 26th on the day, while Canadian Boyd-clowes was 44th. Stoch continued to dominate the RAW AIR standings, with Johansson in second. Boyd-clowes moved down one spot to 33rd, while Bickner was 38th.
March 17-18 – Vikersund, Norway
The Norwegian squad took home the team victory at the penultimate event of the RAW AIR Tournament. The teams from Poland and Slovakia claimed second and third respectively.
In the finale, the host country swept the podium, with Johansson taking his first World Cup win on his way to second-place overall in the RAW AIR standings behind Poland’s Stoch, who sealed the overall with six wins in the process. Norwegian Andreas Stjernen rounded out the podium in third, as American Bickner jumped up five places to finish 33rd. Sadly, Canadian Boyd-clowes could not compete due to health reasons. The stage was then set for the final World Cup in Planica, Slovenia.
March 23-25 – Planica, Slovania
Poland’s Stoch launched a 245-metre jump to snag the win on Day One in Planica over Norway’s Forfang in second, with Austria’s Kraft in third. Bickner of the U.S.A. took home his best result since the Olympic break, placing 16th.
Norway continued its Team-event domination, grabbing its third consecutive win. Germany landed in second with consistent jumping, while Slovenia, motivated by the home crowd, pipped Poland for the final podium spot.
Poland’s Stoch returned to the podium in the final event of the season with his 31st World Cup win, with Austria’s Kraft second and Norway’s Tande in third. No North Americans competed.
Poland’s Stoch at 30 dominated the season with nine wins to take the overall title over Germany’s Richard Freitag, with Norway’s Tande third. American Bickner was the top North American in 39th, while Canadian Boyd-clowes was 47th. In the Nationals Cup, Norway took the overall title.
Canada's Mackenzie Boyd-clowes claimed a stellar 15th in Oslo. U.S.A.'S Kevin Bickner was the top North American overall.