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The Commons
Photo 1

Kevin O'Connor/Special to The Commons

Harris Hill historian Dana Sprague annually displays ski jump memorabilia at downtown Brattleboro's Zephyr Designs.

News

Harris Hill ski jump set for Olympic year

Event will showcase hopefuls for Beijing 2022

Originally published in The Commons issue #442 (Wednesday, January 17, 2018). This story appeared on page A1.


BRATTLEBORO—Pyeongchang isn’t the only place ready to greet international athletes.

Harris Hill, New England’s only Olympic-size ski jump, is set to welcome competitors from the U.S. and Europe at its annual Presidents’ Day weekend tournament in Brattleboro.

Several of Harris Hill’s past jumpers — Kevin Bickner, Michael Glasder, and William Rhoads, for example — won’t be present, as they’ve earned spots to travel with Team USA to the Winter Games in Korea.

But the local slope is expecting a slate of up-and-comers Feb. 17-18 that spectators may spot in Beijing in 2022.

“Here’s where you’ll see future Olympic jumpers,” says Patricia Howell, a member of Harris Hill’s volunteer organizing committee.

Since its start in 1922, the nearly century-old competition attracts thousands of people who watch athletes shoot off the 90-meter hill at speeds of 60 mph before soaring more than 300 feet in the air.

The jump, located on Cedar Street, raises money through ticket sales, donations, and sponsors including Pepsi, Auto Mall, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Mount Snow, and The Richards Group.

Organizers are seeking more volunteers to work the weekend contest. Anyone interested can contact Dana Sprague at dsprague@sover.net or Naomi Pollica at npollica@gmail.com.

Gates will open each day at 10 a.m., with trial rounds at 11 a.m. and opening ceremonies and competition at noon. The family event will offer food and beverage vendors, a bonfire, music, tailgating, and appearances by Jumper, the cow mascot.

Advance discount admission of $15 for adults and $12 for students ages 6 to 12 are available at Galanes Vermont Shop and Zephyr Designs in Brattleboro, with more information at www.harrishillskijump.com.

Tickets otherwise are $20 for adults, $15 for students ages 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and younger and can be purchased at the gate or online at www.brownpapertickets.com, which already is reporting sales.

“The word is getting out,” says Liz Richards, who serves as event co-director alongside fellow local Kate McGinn.

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