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Lake Placid set to host U.S. jumping/nordic combined championships on Saturday


The 2009 U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships are scheduled for tomorrow, Oct. 11,  in Lake Placid, New York. This is the first time this event will be held off snow, and opinions going into the event vary as to whether the timing will be a boon or a bust.
The 2009 U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships are scheduled for tomorrow, Oct. 11,  in Lake Placid, New York. This is the first time this event will be held off snow, and opinions going into the event vary as to whether the timing will be a boon or a bust.
    USSA has provided a few talking points for the event below that will serve as somewhat of a primer for the action:

1) Sans Snow – While it may seem unorthodox, the 2009 U.S. Championships are going to be in October – without Father Winter. When the option of having the event during the annual Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid was presented everyone jumped at the chance – no pun intended – to try something new. The U.S. joins Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other prominent ski jumping and nordic combined countries in holding a non-winter national championships event.

2) Maplus Makes the Event Roll – This is the first U.S. Nordic Combined Championships to be held using roller skis instead of snow skis. While most people would just see a few wheels attached to a rod as only a boot away from being an inline skate, there are some very distinct differences between inline skates, and roller skis. For starters, where inline skates have a number of wheels and feels like an ice skate on asphalt, roller skis have a narrow wheel at either end of a long rod that requires the athletes who use them to skate as though they are actually on cross country skis. For this year's event, Maplus, a leading producer of roller ski equipment, is supplying 50 pairs of roller skis ensuring that all competitors are on the same speed 'skis.'
    Following their use in this Championship event, Maplus has offered to sell the rollerskis onsite to clubs, coaches and athletes at a discounted price.

3) Feel the History – Olympic history runs deep in Lake Placid, site of the third Olympic Winter Games back in 1932 when all the ski competitions were nordic events (alpine skiing was added in 1936). And today's MacKenzie-Intervale Ski Jumping Complex, where the action will take place this weekend, was built to host the 1980 Olympic Winter Games and has been holding jumping events ever since.

4) Hometown Hero – The Lake Placid region is the home of U.S. Ski Team's Bill Demong. He was born and bred in the Olympic town and while there might not be a sign on the town's water tower noting the home of the 2007 World Championships silver medalist, the crowd will still be cheering for him loudly. According to the northern New York native, the combination of dryland competition and hometown comfort have him predicting this to be the season's event people must get to. Additionally, the Lake Placid region was the birthplace to the U.S. Ski Jumping Team's Alissa Johnson.

5) A New Format for the Ages – The new nordic combined competition format launched by the FIS will be tested for the first time in the United States during these national title races. It will allow athletes more competition experience before the World Cup and World Championship season gets under way, not to mention provide spectators with a fresh look and renewed excitement in the sport. This new format includes a single jump event with a 10K skiing distance.

    — USSA press release

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