Women’s Ski Jumping USA launched Fly Girls in the spring of 2014. It was designed as an innovative athlete development program and branding initiative to recruit and retain young female ski jumpers into a sustainable pipeline from which the highest-caliber athletes would one day be selected to join the National and Olympic teams. In 2017, Women’s Ski Jumping USA joined USA Nordic Sport (USANS) as a way to further unify and strengthen the U.S. presence in the field.
The Fly Girls program was inspired by the ideals and dreams set forth by countless athlete pioneers, coaches, parents, volunteers and supporters who joined together to lead the Olympic women’s ski jumping movement in the United States and around the world.
The program serves as a bridge between the national club level programs and the National Team. Fly Girls is the stepping stone and spring board for young women across the country who want to pursue even further their love of ski jumping. The top U.S. female jumpers are named each fall to the National Team.
What are the goals of the Athlete Development Program?
The Athlete Development Program has six key goals:
- Help recruit and retain girls into ski jumping clubs from five key regions across the nation: Eastern (NY, VT, CT, NH, ME); Central (IL, MI, MN, WI); Rocky Mountain (CO); Intermountain (UT); and Alaska.
- Provide high-level training guides and tools for young athletes and coaches to benefit and enhance the development of female ski jumpers at all levels and in any region across the U.S.
- Provide an avenue for collaboration and exchange of ideas and curriculum with club coaches to create a cohesive and streamlined national training philosophy.
- Identify female ski jumpers, ages 13-16, who will take part in the annual 2-5 week-long Fly Girls Development Camp. Top-performing jumpers may be nominated to the Women’s Ski Jumping Development Team.
- Facilitate and encourage young ski jumpers to be well-rounded individuals off the hill by providing nutrition best practices, leadership training, media training, and how to fundraise their careers and then pay it forward.
- Provide a mentoring program between the National Team members and Fly Girls development program.
USA Nordic selected the next Fly Girls(and Guys) to take part in their 3-week long summer camp conducted in July of 2022. The camp was designed to inspire, educate, and immerse the athletes in the sports of ski jumping and/or nordic combined at a national level. Athletes live, train, rest, refuel and compete with each other in a dynamic team environment. The camp started in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and finished in Park City, Utah.
Athletes interested could apply online, and had to meet designated criteria to apply, including being focused on becoming a ski jumper or nordic combined athlete long-term, and willing to participate in fundraising expenses associated with the camp.