P.O. Box 127, Ishpeming, MI 49849
Now, onto what brought us to Ishpeming in the first place. It’s the longest continually running ski club in the entire U.S. They call the Ishpeming Ski Club the birthplace of organized skiing in America, and there they have a monster ski jump affectionately called Suicide Hill. Since 1887, skiers and ski jumpers have been going there to compete and learn to fly on skis.
When we were there, I was so very fortunate to spend some quality time with the late, great Coy Hill. Not only was Coy one of the club’s most decorated jumpers, he personified this club’s long and illustrious history. Coy was one of the precious old-timers who, back in the day (when it wasn’t so easy), helped build this club and the giant ski jump. He was a true gentleman and a wonderful character whose enthusiasm and passion for this sport helped send some of our very finest to the Olympics. Coy passed away while the program featuring him was in the process of being edited. We feel lucky to have known him. He will be sorely missed.
If you can, you should come see this jump and witness what these incredibly brave and talented young men and women do. In my humble opinion, these ski jumpers are the rock stars of the ski world. With giant skis on their backs, they climb hundreds of stairs and fly hundreds of feet through the air.
On the show, we suited me up and made it look as though I made one of these magnificent jumps. I acquired my genuine appreciation for these athletes when I carried those giant skis to the top of the jump and got a true perspective on the enormity of this feat. It looked like I did it, but I was really so scared up there. I respect those guys tremendously. Like I said, rock stars.
The competition we came to see that day celebrated the club’s 125th anniversary, and ski jumpers from all over the world were there to compete. I’ve been watching ski jumping on TV all my life, but until I saw it in person, I didn’t realize what an incredible sport it is. If you get the chance, get to the U.P. and attend one of these awesome competitions. It’s something I guarantee you’ll never forget.