I’m Lindsey Van and I’m a ski jumper. I made history in 2009 by becoming the first World Champion in women’s ski jumping. And now I'm inches from acheiving my lifelong goal: representing the United States in the Olympic Winter Games.
Until recently, women weren’t allowed to compete in ski jumping at the Olympic level. We fought for 10 years to be included and finally we won. The 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia will be the first time women will be allowed to ski jump in the Olympics — and I've just been named to the Olympic Team!
I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and it’s enabled me to grow into a leader and fight for what I believe in. It’s also helped me learn what’s truly important in life.
Since I was 9 years old, I’ve dreamed of being an Olympian. I’ve been ski jumping for 21 years — that’s about 22,000 jumps. I ski 60 mph down an in-run and hurl myself off the ski jump, going sometimes as far as the length of two football fields.
I’m a 16-time U.S. national ski jumping champion (normal and large hills) and I have more than 50 top-three finishes internationally, including eight wins. I also hold the North American women’s record with a jump of 171 meters. Before the Olympic Games in 2010, I held the hill record for men and women in Vancouver.
I’ve been so blessed to receive help and encouragement from my family, friends, teammates, and supporters over the years. I’m a proud team member of Women’s Ski Jumping USA, which helps pay for my travel, coaching and some equipment expenses. I am a U.S. Ski Team member, which allows be access to a state-of-the-art training facility and to doctors and trainers.
Can you join this team -- this historic journey -- with me? I still need help. I love the idea of using crowdfunding to create a community of booster and supporters for my sport. Your encouragement truly makes a huge difference. Knowing you are behind me motivates me that much more. Together, we can make the final leg in this historic journey.
Ski jumping may be an individual sport, but it truly takes a community to foster and create a champion. My goal is to make you proud in Sochi in 2014!