Suicide Hill Ski Jump returns to Ishpeming
ISHPEMING — Tuesday will mark 133 years that skiers from all over the world have come together to soar over Ishpeming.
The annual Ski Jumping Tournament at Suicide Bowl, located off County Road in Negaunee at the Ishpeming Ski Club, will be held on Tuesday, featuring skiers from all over the globe.
This year’s tournament, which has been billed as the “Greatest Exhibition of Skiing Ever Witnessed in America,” will be a Junior World Qualifier Event for the USA Nordic ski organization’s Historic Five Hills Tournee.
“We’ll have jumpers from Finland, Norway, Slovenia and all over the United States,” said Gary Rasmussen, chief of competition and head ski jumping coach for the Ishpeming Ski Club.
The hill is no stranger to world-class ski jumpers. More than a dozen ISC members have been inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame including Ishpeming’s Rudy Maki and Coy Hill.
This year is special, Rasmussen said, because the competition will be held in honor of his father, Wilbert Rasmussen, who was known for breaking ski-jump records from the age of 15 and went on to be a member of two world championship teams as well as the U.S. Olympic team in 1952.
“He set the Suicide Hill record in 1946,” he said. “He’s in the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, the U.S. Ski Jumping Hall of Fame in Red Wing, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. Dad passed away in 2005, so they are honoring him years later.”
The younger Rasmussen, inspired by his father’s success, began jumping in 1964.
Trial runs will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Rasmussen said, promising a family-friendly event that “you won’t forget.”
“You don’t want to miss this,” he said. “There will be tailgating, bonfires, hot chocolate, food vendors and, oh yeah, you get to watch some amazing athletes defy gravity.”
Buttons for the event are $15 per person in advance and $20 at the gate. Kids 12 and younger are admitted free. Buttons are available for sale from Ishpeming Ski Club members, Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber or Commerce, Super One/Negaunee, Midtown Bakery, Wilderness Sports, Elaine’s Place, Congress Pizza, Cognition Brewing Company, Ishpeming Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, Jubilee Foods, Buck’s Restaurant, Jasper Ridge Brewery and Restaurant, Kassel’s Midway, Midway Rentals, Crossroads Mini Mart Shell, Sports Rack, Ore Dock Brewery, Down Wind Sports, Blackrocks Brewery and other local area outlets in Ishpeming, Negaunee and Marquette.
All proceeds from the event go to support ISC activities and maintain the Suicide Hill ski facility.
“We’ve got about 15 kids that are pretty steady and come on a regular basis,” Rasmussen said.