NEGAUNEE — The Upper Peninsula is well known for its skiing, and on Tuesday night, a classic skiing competition took place just outside Negaunee.
Hundreds of spectators and competitors alike gathered for the 133rd–annual Ski Jumping Tournament at the iconic Suicide Hill, where over 30 skiers from around the world faced off for the junior world qualifier.
According to one of the event organizers, this competition is part of the culture.
“I think this is a cultural identity for us,” said Peter Copenhaver, Vice President of the Ishpeming Ski Club. “This is ski jumping, this is the Upper Peninsula, this is Nordic skiing, this is what we’re all about. We’re just continuing on that tradition. It’s awesome, it’s great to see the energy, it’s great to see the people, and all of this planning to come to this, it’s just an awesome night to be here.”
The passion and love of skiing shared by the community is especially noteworthy, and has been noticed by competitors from overseas.
“This is actually my third time here in Ishpeming,” added Niko Loytainen, one of the competitors. “It’s a really good hill, the crowd is awesome, the hill is good and everything’s good.”
The competition, which has been held for 133 consecutive years, features the best young talent from around the globe, with competitors ranging in age from 14 to 24 years old.
Proceeds from the competition fund the junior Nordic skiing programs held by the Ishpeming Ski Club, so the sport can be kept alive and well for years to come.