Bill Kerig's "Ready to Fly" documentary about Women's ski jumping is ready to go... This was a real leap of faith (so to speak) for Bill, because even with all the effort to raise money and get the people together to tell this story, there was no guarantee while the film was being made that the Olympic Committee would reverse course and approve woman's ski jumping as an Olympic sport, women being so frail and all... This is a real triumph and a happy ending for some enormously dedicated efforts all around, for the women's team and for the filmmakers. Congratulations to everybody.
"Ready to Fly" Documentary coming soon...
'Ready to Fly" played in Park City last night followed by a Q&A with Bill Kerig, Lindsey Van, Allissa Johnson, Jessica Jerome and Abby Hughes. Dee Dee Corridini, SLC's former mayor (during the 2002 Olympics) and a great champion of Woman's ski jumping was also there.
It's a great movie- I say that because it's so skillfully made that sometimes I forgot it was a documentary. Bill followed the team around for two years, all over Europe and the U.S. The struggle these young women went through is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Van is especially moving- as the reigning world champ she led the charge. And Corridini is fearless as their legal champion- they sued the Vancouver Olympic Committee for discrimination and won- in the Canadian Supreme Court- only to be turned away anyway as being too frail and too obscure a sport to qualify although men have been jumping since the first Winter Olympics.
My favorite scenes are the Austrian cattle barn they had to sleep in because there was no money for a hotel- and the powerful closeup on Lindsey's face when she was poised to make her jump at the Oslo 2011 World Championships in high winds and fog. All the marbles were riding on this event- the OC was going to make it's decision for the 2014 games on how well the women preformed...
Enough of the that- go see it, or order it for thirty bucks and have a party. Invite every little girl (big girl too...) you know. These kids moved a mountain for women's sports and gender equality in general. As a father of two girls, I am stoked.
Here's some pics. A lot of you met Bill when he was a SnowBird guide at one of the gatherings. He's been a professional mogul skier, a journalist and writer, a contributing editor to Skiing, and the last few years, a documentary filmmaker. I especially enjoyed his book version of Edge of Never- the doc is great, but I stayed up all night finishing the book.
Main street, Park City- Egyptian Theater
The Team: L-R Abby Hughes, Alissa Johnson, Lindsey Van, Jessica Jerome. Not in attendence, Nita Englund, Nina Lussi, Emilee Anderson, and Sarah Hendrickson who, at this writing, is #1 in the world.
Bill, introducing Corridini, and about to give away a little swag for the raffle- this was, in part, a fundraiser for the team.
Dee Dee talks about the long road to the Olympics and the sacrifices the team made.
Lindsey Van, hero and role model.
Abby Hughes, with my little ripper.
Park City is indeed a small town- Jessica Jerome's mom, Barb, is my daughter's fourth grade teacher.
Skiers- everyone- go see the movie- a % goes to the team- and support the team directly if you can, in any amount.
It's a privilege and and honor to have these young women compete for the United States.
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"Ready to Fly" is mentioned in USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/story/2012-02-20/american-teen-is-worlds-top-female-ski-jumper/53190916/1
I just ordered the DVD. I am looking forward to watching it.
If you are interested in ski jumping or just good journalism, check out this NY Times article from a few days ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/sports/in-new-hampshire-high-school-ski-jumping-still-flies.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=ski%20jumping&st=cse