Final hill preparations under way for Continental Cup jumps

IRON MOUNTAIN – Final preparations for the 2014 Bellin Health Pine Mountain Continental Cup Ski Jumping Competition in Iron Mountain on Feb. 7-9 are under way.

Celebrating the 75th year of ski jumping at Pine Mountain, more 50 athletes from around the globe will gather in Iron Mountain for three great days of competition.

Known around the world as one of the more challenging ski jumping venues, giant Pine Mountain over time has attracted some of the world’s best, reports Susie Fox of the Kiwanis Ski Club.

Entries have been received from Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the United States.

New for 2014, there will be three days of competition – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Kiwanis Ski Club is seeking families to host a team to dinner on Friday, Feb. 7.

“You may host a team at your home or take them out to dinner – you would have to pick the team up from the Econo Lodge Hotel at 6 p.m. and transport them to and from dinner,” Fox said.

Teams needing a host include Estonia (2), Norway (8 to 10), Swiss (6), Poland (12), Italy (6), and Netherlands (4).

Residents interested in hosting ski jumpers can contact the Kiwanis Ski Club at 779-1110.

The schedule of events for the upcoming competition include:

– Thursday, Feb. 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Meet The Skiers at Pine Mountain Resort. This is an informal gathering to meet the skiers and coaches as well as get autographs. There is no charge for this event, although reservations are requested by calling the Dickinson Area Partnership at 774-2002.

– Friday, Feb. 7, Competition 1 for the athletes at 1:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Training rounds will start at 10:30 a.m.

– Saturday Feb. 8, Trail Round at 11 a.m.; Opening Ceremony at 12:15 p.m.; and Competition 2 begins at 1 p.m.

– Sunday, Feb. 9, Trail Round at 11 a.m.; and Competition 3 begins at 1 p.m.

All times are weather permitting. Iron Mountain radio 106.7 FM will broadcast any schedule changes.

“If high winds are predicted for the afternoon it is very possible for organizers to move the competition to the morning,” Fox said.

Booster (admission) buttons are available at numerous locations throughout the Iron Mountain-Kingsford area or by mail order through the Dickinson Area Partnership by calling 1-906-774-2002.

Buttons are $20 for adults and $15 for students 11-17 years of age; 10 and under are free.

Pre-sales end Thursday, Feb. 6, after which time ski jumping fans may purchase a button at the entrance to the event.

Gate prices are $25 for Adults and $20 for students. Concessions available on site but carry-ins and tailgating are also welcomed.

“This is the largest tailgate party in the Midwest in the month of February,” Fox said.

For more information, visit the website or call the Kiwanis Ski Club at 906-779-1110.