The Frosty Rehearsals for Norway’s Vertiginous World Championships
An industrial snowy landscape set the scene for photographer Yann Mingard’s weekend in the Norwegian mountains as he chronicled the run up to the FIS Ski Flying World Championships. Mingard took to the manmade slopes in the quaint village of Vikersund, just outside of Drammen, to capture ski-fliers in training refine their death-defying leaps from a height of 120 meters. "I was surprised by the concentration. When you see these teenagers on the top of the jumps they’re so focused,” says Mingard. “It’s crazy, they jump over 240 meters. It’s not jumping––it’s flying.” The Championships saw over 55 brazen athletes take to the dramatic Vikersundbakken hill to be scored on flight, landing and outrun in front of 25,000 captivated fans. Slovenian Robert Kranjec won the gold medal with a massive leap of 244 meters, only four meters less than Norwegian Johan Remen Evensen's current world record. Vikersund itself is best known for its connection with the world of ski jumping and has been churning out an illustrious list of star athletes since the late 1880s, including the famous trio of Ruud brothers and former world champion Ole Gunnar Fidjestøl.