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Jay Currie

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Suggestion for the 2010 Whistler Winter Olympics

The host country gets to propose one demonstration sport. My vote was for snowboarding with a bong; but that was before I read this:

Unlike most ski jumpers, entrants in a Norwegian competition this weekend will lose points for any smooth and graceful landings on the snow.

These jumpers will be aiming for the trees. And the higher they land, the better their scores may be.

The unofficial Norwegian tree ski-jumping championships are being organized for the second time in southern Norway's mountains by a group of mountaineering enthusiasts, who are hoping that roads closed by snow don't stop them.

"It isn't really all that dangerous," Oeystein Lia, one of the organizers, said Friday. "It usually goes pretty well."


The idea is to take flight from a mound of snow, fly through the air and land in a tree. To qualify as a completed jump, the skier has to hang onto the tree without falling to the ground.

"You really have to dare to give it your all in the jump, so you end up near the top of the tree," said Lia. "If you don't, you can slam right into the trunk."

The higher parts of the trees are thinner, and bend under the weight of the skiers, while, according to tips published by the group, there are three possible reasons "the tree felt like hitting a lamp post."

"A) The tree is too big. B) You hit it too far down the trunk because you didn't jump hard enough or C) You're a wimp," the tree-jumpers' troubleshooting guide explained.

Hey, Whistler has trees...Lots of trees. I've hit several myself...

via the always wonderful Mirabilis