(NECN: Brian Burnell, Salisbury, Conn.) - A World class ski jump tucked into the hills of northwest Connecticut. How did that happen? Back in the early 1900's the Satre brothers immigrated to Salisbury from Norway. They were avid ski jumpers and started looking for places to jump in their adopted hometown.
John Sullivan, Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc: "They started off by jumping off of roofs of buildings in town."
It wasn't long before a ski jump was built on one of the hills in town and Salisbury became the ski jump capital of Connecticut. The first wooden jump was replaced in the 40's and that one was just torn down and this new, steel structure built at a cost of over half-a-million dollars. Finished just in time for The Salisbury Winter Sports Association big events in February. It starts with the annual Jumpfest... 3 days, February 11, 12 and 13. And then...
John Sullivan, Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc: "The 2011 junior Olympics in ski jumping and nordic combined which is the 22nsd of February through the 26th and those are kids 17 and under who have qualified for the junior olympics. And who have olympic aspirations. Absolutely. Absolutely."
You might think all the snow we've gotten would be good for ski jumping. Esthetically, yes. Snow in the backyard makes people think about winter sports. But heavy snow on the jump?
John Sullivan, Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc: "It doesn't necessarily help us as far as the jump is concerned. It's actually a lot more effort because we have to remove snow to make the jump groomed perfectly for people to actually ski off of it. So it's a little more work but we still welcome it. Every flake."
It's not expensive to come see these competitions. Go to jumpfest.org to get the details on that. And the association is non-profit. All the money they raise goes to local schools.
John Sullivan, Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc: "To promote winter sports. Cross country skiing, alpine skiing and ski jumping."
A hedge, you might say, against cabin fever.