Bickner leads US ski jumpers in large hill |

Bickner leads US ski jumpers in large hill

From left, U.S. men's ski jumpers Patrick Gasienica, Decker Dean, Casey Larson and Kevin Bickner pose at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre at the 2022 Olympics.
USA Nordic/Courtesy photo

Two-time Olympian Kevin Bickner led a trio of American ski jumping men in the Olympic large hill first round on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre.

Bickner, of Illinois, finished 39th with a jump of 125 meters. He was the best American finisher, followed by Casey Larson, also of Illinois, who took 43rd, and Decker Dean, of Steamboat Springs, in 45th. Dean had a jump of 120 meters.

Only the top 30 advanced from the first round into the finals, so the Americans watched as Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan won gold, Marius Lindvik of Norway took silver and Tim Zajc of Slovenia earned bronze.

The U.S. jumpers don’t have the best individual jumps, but, with Patrick Gasienica, there are four of them, so they are eligible for the team event.

In the 2021 World Ski Championships, Larson and Dean were part of the U.S. men’s team that finished 10th. More recently, the combination of Dean, Larson, Bickner and Andrew Urlaub finished ninth at a World Cup in December.

The Olympic team event will take place at 4 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 14.

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