Beijing Olympics

Olympic Ski Jumping: Bickner, Gasienica, Larson Hope to Thrill Chicago-Area Fans in Team Event

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The United States men’s ski jumping team will hit the hill for the final time in this year’s Olympics on Monday when they compete in the team event.

The competition will take place at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre, approximately 112 miles from Beijing, and will feature a quartet of American stars that will be hoping to bounce back after a difficult Olympics so far.

The eyes of Chicago-area fans will be on Kevin Bickner, Patrick Gasienica and Casey Larson, all of whom hail from the region and train at the Norge Ski Club.

Bickner, who hails from Wauconda, finished in 43rd place in the normal hill competition, and 39th in the large hill, but is hoping to reward his supporters who have been in his corner throughout the Games.

“I’ve been getting a ton of support from everybody, especially in the Chicago area,” he said. “It’s been super cool.”

Casey Larson, Decker Dean, Kevin Bickner, and Patrick Gasienica advanced to the competition round in men's normal hill individual ski jumping.

Larson will be the fourth man down the hill for the Americans in the team competition, and the Barrington-native will look to improve on his performance on a hill that he says poses unique challenges.

“It was really fun to get on some completely new hills. I actually enjoyed it,” he said. “They were very unique and very special. I think every jumper had an interesting time on both hills for sure.”

Gasienica, who resides in McHenry, finihsed outside of the top-50 in the large hill event, and finished in 49th in the normal hill competition.

The three will hope to help the United States improve on its finish to the 2018 team event, where they finished in ninth place in PyeongChang.

Things are set to kick off at 4 a.m. Central time for the ski jumpers, with a qualification round followed up by the first round of competition.

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