Kevin Bickner is heading back to the Winter Olympics.
The Wauconda native who grew up training with the Norge Ski Club secured his spot on Team USA’s ski jumping team on Christmas when he finished first at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Lake Placid, New York. He won the men’s ski jumping trials on Saturday by jumping 257 total meters through two rounds, 14 meters ahead of Dean Decker.
The 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing, China, will be Bickner’s second consecutive Olympics after he competed in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He finished 20th in the large hill competition in those Olympic Games.
While there will be some opportunities to still qualify for the Olympics beyond Saturday’s trials, Bickner was happy to guarantee his spot to the Beijing Games, which will start on Feb. 4.
“There is a lot of work that went into this,” Bickner said in a press release. “Over the past year, I’ve been coming back from some time off and get back to where I was a couple years ago. I’m super excited to be going back to the Olympics. It has been a little but more difficult this time around and I knew this was going to be an important event to win to secure that spot.”
Bickner opened up the first round of the trials with a 96-meter jump and secured his spot on Team USA when he jumped 96.5 meters in the second round, finishing first overall.
Barrington-native Casey Larson, who also trained at Norge, finished third overall by jumping 182.5 total meters.
Two other Norge jumpers, Patrick Gasienica (Chicago) and women’s jumper Cara Larson (Barrington, Casey’s sister), also competed at the trials.
Team USA should have other spots in the Olympics, but there will be another month of competitions in Europe to determine those spots.
Source: The Daily Chronicle