Delayed Ski Jumping Championships To Go On This Weekend

CHICAGO (CBS) — A northwest suburban ski jumping competition will go on this weekend despite less-than-ideal weather conditions early in the week.

This weekend is the back-up weekend for the Norge Ski Club’s International Winter Tournament in Fox River Grove. The competition had originally been planned for the end of January, according to club spokesman Charlie Sedivec.

“That whole weekend, we had rain. There was no snow to be found,” he said.

Sedivec says conditions should be cold enough the next couple of nights to make enough snow to pack the 150-foot ski jump.

“We’ve got a 150-foot tower that the skiers come down, and so to snow that, we have to pretty much line the whole tower with volunteers. They stand about four feet apart, we fill burlap bags with snow, and then start passing them up,” he said.

Sedivec said nothing has stopped this competition from taking place every year for the past 112 years.

“We’ve done things as drastic as importing snow from Michigan on box cars, and having the trains come down, and put it onto trucks, and bring it out to the hill,” he said. “We’ve had Jefferson Ice Company crush up tons of ice on the hill, and in my lifetime we’ve taken the snow off the river when there was enough ice that we could get our trucks out on the river to get snow.”

The club also has used the scrapings from a Zamboni machine at a local ice arena.

Sedevic said the club should be able to get the tower snowed in time for practice to begin on Friday.

The junior competition is Saturday starting at noon. The main competition, with dozens of competitors from around the country and the world, is on Sunday.

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