USA Nordic Sport coach, Gregor Linsig will make good on a 15-year-old bet with Canadian Ski Jumper Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes. Linsig, who coached Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes at the time, made a fateful bet with his 16-year-old athlete: Should Boyd-Clowes ever make a World Cup, World Championships or Olympic Winter Games podium in his career, Linsig would compete in the World Master Ski Jumping Championships that same year. In 2022, Linsig was still certain that he would never have to cash in on that bet until the Canadian Mixed Team won a bronze medal at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. Linsig was ecstatic for Boyd-Clowes, but knew that this victory would mean he would have to strap on jump skis and boots for the first time in 20 years.
Knowing that the World Master Ski Jumping Championships takes place in Planica from September 8th – 10th, the 45-year-old now started training this summer.
“As Gregor was making preparations for his jumping competitions in Planica, Tomas Matura (Head Coach, U.S. Women’s Nordic Combined) and myself were discussing the story of the bet and how excited our surrounding Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined community is to see Gregor jump again,” explains Nick Hendrickson, U.S. Men’s Nordic Combined Team Director. “Because Gregor is a bit nervous to jump again, Tomas and I offered him our support and told him that if we can turn this event into a fundraiser, we would jump with him for the team competition on September 9th on the HS80.”
Keeping in mind that Linsig didn’t jump in more than 20 years, Hendrickson in eight years and Matura for several years as well, the challenge is now particularly great for everyone involved.
“Our USA Nordic Combined team is made up of great staff and athletes that support each other. It’s for this reason that we as coaches want to show our support to the athletes and raise some money in the process,” says Hendrickson.
Currently, nine men and three women are part of USA’s Nordic Combined National Team, who are looking forward to seeing their coaches jump again, while bringing awareness to their difficult situation.
“Most of our athletes are covering all of their own costs for both training and competition trips, and all the money raised in this fundraiser will go directly to the Nordic Combined team to help support the team and keep the good momentum that we have going,” Hendrickson continued.