We hope the entire community will turn out to enjoy and support Junior Olympics ski jumping and cross country skiing action this week.
Junior Olympians from across the country will be marching through Ishpeming tonight as they prepare to represent five U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association divisions as the top athletes in Nordic combined ski jumping and cross country skiing this week.
The march will begin at 7 p.m. at Joseph’s Super Valu on Hematite Street and head west to Main Street before turning south toward Division Street. Following the parade of Olympians, a torch run will find representatives of each division carrying a replica Olympic torch crafted after the one used in the 1988 Olympic Games.
The Junior Olympics events — which will take place today through Saturday — are just a fraction of the skiing events Ishpeming has hosted this year.
“This year has provided a very unique opportunity for the Ishpeming Ski Club,” said Dick Ross, chairman of the promotions committee. “From the 121st (ski jumping) tournament that featured Super Tour skiers from across North America to the junior tournament held (Sunday) that featured skiers not only from the central division (of the USSSA), but early arrivers from the Junior Olympics as well.”
Ross said the events hosted by the ski club will culminate with the Junior Olympics week.
The cities of Negaunee and Ishpeming and Ishpeming Township have been preparing for the event with help from the local schools and the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame — which worked to bring the replica Olympic torch from the Olympic Hall of Fame in Calgary. An Olympic Torch will burn outside of the Ski Hall of Fame during the week’s events.
The Olympic week will end with an awards banquet at the Elks Club in Ishpeming at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
All of the competitive events and the parade are open to the public and are free of charge.
“This is the first time since 1984 the Junior Olympics have been awarded to the Ishpeming Ski Club,” said Ross. “We are not only representing the Central Division of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association in hosting the nation’s premier ski jumpers and Nordic combined skiers ages 15 and under, but we are representing Marquette County and Ishpeming as well.”
Ski jumping competition starts at 10 a.m. Thursday at Suicide Hill. At 3 p.m. Thursday, a Nordic combined cross country race is set to start at Al Quaal. A complete listing of events through Saturday can be found at www.miningjournal.net.