United States

Norge Ski Club Makes History at 2018 Olympics

In its history, the Norge Ski Club has never had an athlete make an Olympic team – until this year

It is an Olympic sport that is not for the faint of heart: ski jumping.

Athletes must race down a very steep incline before launching themselves off a massive hill. Ski jumpers have been taking off at the historic Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove since 1905.

In its history, the Norge Ski Club has never had an athlete make an Olympic team – until this year. 

Michael Glasder, 28, of Cary has qualified for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Team, after narrowly missing the last two teams.

Kevin Bickner, 21, of Wauconda, Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington and A.J. Brown, 22, of Fox River Grove are all vying for Olympic spots. The entire team is expected to be announced on Jan. 22. 

“It is really exciting. It gives me goosebumps,” said Guy Larson, who is on the Board of Directors for the Norge Ski Club. He is also the father of Olympic hopeful Casey Larson. 

“It’s huge for our organization. To have one, potentially two, maybe even three athletes from Norge, to be representing the U.S. from this ski club in Fox River Grove is so cool,” said Larson. 

Glasder, Bickner, Larson and Brown all grew up jumping on the 5-meter hill at Norge Ski Club, eventually making their way up to the largest 70-meter hill. 

“You think of that journey when they came out here when they were five or six years old to where they are today. It’s been an incredible journey.” 

Ski jumping also takes place at the Norge Ski Club year round. During the spring and summer months, a special turf that simulates snow is laid down. Equipment is also available for rent at Norge. 

“The suits, the boots, the skis,” said Larson. “(Athletes) are using those skis as wings. It makes them fly farther.” 

Cara Larson, 17, is a junior at Barrington High School, who started jumping when she was five years old. She followed her brother Casey to Norge, and the siblings both fell in love with the sport. 

“It’s the thrill,” said Cara, who is on the U.S. Women’s National Team. “Every jump is completely different and new. I never get tired of flying through the air.” 

Cara said seeing the success of her older brother and friends is an inspiration for her own Olympic dreams. 

“To see them make it is really cool and just pushes me even harder,” said Cara.

Contact Us