Steamboat ski jumper Dean advances to next round of normal hill competition |

Steamboat ski jumper Dean advances to next round of normal hill competition

All four American ski jumping men advanced through qualifiers on Saturday, Feb. 5, and into the normal hill first round.

The wind was ripping at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre, causing delays during the event.

Steamboat Springs jumper Decker Dean waited on the starting bar for the allotted 45 seconds, but when the wind didn’t let up, he had to get off. He stood for a second on the steps at the top of the HS106, then sat down again, waiting for the go-ahead.

The television broadcast showed seven arrows and numbers indicating sensors along the side of the jump. The arrows shifted and the numbers changed with the wind, which was coming at the jumpers. Any reading overt 5 meters per second indicated unfavorable jumping conditions.

Dean got back on the bar and soon got the green light.

The former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete soared 81 meters, the second-longest jump among the American men. Dean was awarded a score of 66.6, putting him right behind U.S. teammate Casey Larson and ahead of teammates Kevin Bickner and Patrick Gasienica.

With many athletes to go, the American men already knew they’d advance past the qualifier into the first round. Of the 53 competitors, 50 advanced. There were nine competitors below the lowest-ranked American, meaning all four had a spot in the next round.

Larson finished 41st, Dean 42nd, Bickner 43rd and Gasienica 44th.

The first round will take place at 4 a.m. MST on Sunday, Feb. 6. The top 30 will advance past that round into the finals.

Working in reverse ranking order, the top 30 athletes followed Dean’s jump and showed that the wind could be managed.

Marius Lindvik of Norway won the event with a distance of 100.5 meters and a score of 116.7.

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