First Team GB Ski Jumpers since ‘Eddie the Eagle’ take to the skies

This week history has been made as both male and female competed for Team GB at an Olympics event.

Mani Cooper became Britain’s first ever ski jumper when she participated in the combined event at the World Youth Olympics.

Raised in Innsbruck

Only 16, Cooper was raised in Innsbruck, where she competed on the famous Bergisel jump, joining the local sports club there. She was invited to join the regional squad for the Tyrol and took part at the Austrian championships.


19th place finish for Cooper

However, Cooper was born in the UK to British parents and was excited to represent Team GB at the Lausanne 2020 World Youth Olympics in the new event, which combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing.

After difficult conditions in practice, Cooper finished 16th in the jumping discipline, dropping three places to finish 19th overall.

Mani Cooper

Sam Bolton 18th in Ski Jump

In the male ski jump competition, Sam Bolton finished 18th out of 37 competitors after scoring 199.9 from his two jumps.

Sam ‘The Bird’ Bolton (as we are christening him!) is not actually the first male ski jumper since Eddie Edwards. The little-known Glynn Pedersen actually represented Team GB at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2002.

Sam ‘The Bird’ Bolton

“My aim is to compete at Beijing 2022”

Both Bolton and Cooper are trailblazers for Team GB and suggest the future is bright for the breadth of the British team.

Mani Cooper’s pride in representing her country of birth was clear:

“It is an honour and a privilege to be here and of course to be the first-ever female athlete competing in the Ski Jump as part of the Nordic Combined discipline an Olympic event for Team GB.”

“I hope I am the first of many and I hope I can inspire as many younger female athletes to take up Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping.”

“My big aim is to compete at Beijing 2022 in the first women’s Nordic combined event.”

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