Ski Jumper Left Unconscious After First Jump in New FIS-Approved Ski Suits

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Norwegian ski jumper Halvor Egner Granerud seconds before plummeting to the ground. | Picture: Screenshot from Twitter Video by Dominik Formela

Norwegian ski jumper Halvor Egner Granerud crashed during a training jump in Lillehammer, Norway, which left the Overall World Cup Ski Jumping Champion of the 21/22 and 22/23 seasons unconscious at the bottom of the run. He was taken to hospital but released later that day.

The 27-year-old Norwegian blamed the crash on the new jumping suits, which must be tighter according to new rules set by the International Ski & Snowboard Federation ‘FIS’. In an interview with Norwegian TV, Graverud said:  “I tried ski jumping for the first time this summer with the equipment adjusted to the new rules.  So I’m okay. It’s just painful. I had an x-ray, and nothing is broken. I’m just going to spend a few days on crutches for my own comfort, and then I’ll be good.”

In a video shared across social media by several other ski jumpers, Granerud can be seen losing balance early on in the jump, with his right ski seemingly being dragged behind him by the wind resistance. He comes crashing down mid-jump and apparently slid down unconscious to the bottom of the landing area.

“It becomes more dangerous to jump far. We need to have more speed, jump higher and land harder for the same distances. I’m not very happy with that. I want it to be as safe as possible for me so that I can do as many jumps as possible,” Granerud added. He believes the new standards enforced by FIS for the suits are, in fact, dangerous.

It is not the first injury of the summer training season for team Norway. Granerud’s teammate, Norway’s biathlon star Johannes Thingnes Bö, also recently had an accident on his roller skis.

Ski-jumping suits have been at the center of a heated debate for many years. Without becoming too technical, basic physics has it that the bigger the suit, the better the lift in the air, which is why FIS implemented guidelines as to how many centimeters or inches the suit can be from a jumper’s body (and how many stitches there can be on the suit and where). However, since the suits are stretchy and every jumper is a different shape, measuring this width is a bit of an art form rather than an exact science.

At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, five of the world’s best jumpers were disqualified due to their suits being measured as too big, even though they had competed in the exact same suit just days prior. The disqualified jumpers represented four of the top Ski Jumping Teams in the world: Sara Takanashi of Japan, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria, Katharina Althaus of Germany, and Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth of Norway.

In February 2023, an unnamed ski jumper admitted in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick that everyone in ski jumping was cheating regarding ski suits. He reportedly said, “Everyone is moving in a gray area.”  The new rules enforced by FIS are supposed to end this, but if it is, in fact, a step in the right direction remains to be seen. Some athletes call for easing the rules to simplify the process for suit checks and eliminate these gray areas.

Granerud with the 22/23 overall crystal globe. | Picture: Granerud Instagram Page

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