Summer ski jump to open

Teams from Park City, Utah, Olympic ski jumpers and some of Steamboat Springs' most promising athletes will be at Howelsen Hill this weekend for the opening of the plastic jump.

But at least one of the jumpers will come to town with more than ski jumping on his mind.

"My sister is graduating, so I was going to be in town anyhow," Olympian Clint Jones said.

Jones said he hopes to jump this afternoon and take part in sessions Saturday and Sunday.

Between jumps, he will take in his younger sister's high school graduation and enjoy his family and friends in his hometown.

"It's great to come home to Steamboat," Jones said. "Plus, we like to start off the season on a smaller jump. It's easy to pick up some bad habits on the larger hills. But there is less speed on the smaller hills, and it's easier to get back to fundamentals."

Jones will have plenty of company when the K-68 hill opens for the summer today.

Swiss jumper Andreas Kuettel also will be in town to take a few jumps. Kuettel placed fifth in the normal hill and sixth in the large hill at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

"Things are going to get pretty busy around Howelsen this weekend," said Todd Wilson, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Nordic program director.

Wilson said a couple of teams from Park City are scheduled to start a training camp today and will be on the jump through the middle of next week.

The training camps also will allow the Winter Sports Club's ability-level athletes to test their talents against a top field.

"It's great to see this much interest in our jump," Wilson said. "I expect to see at least 20 jumpers out there this weekend."

The first jumping session of the weekend will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. today. The jumpers will host two sessions Saturday, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. On Sunday, jumpers will train from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m.

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