The first event in Lillehammer is in early December, and despite being able to easily prep the hills in the past, Lillehammer athletes must now rely on snow shipped from other parts of Norway.
Observation by Carter Brubaker:
Last week they finally started to prepare the ski jumps in Lillehammer, even though the World Cup is only one week away. The first day of hill prep was November 23rd. The jumps are usually ready by now but because of the warm temperatures it has not been cold enough to make snow. Winter sports like cross country skiing and ski jumping are extremely important to the lifestyle and culture of Norwegians. According to the locals, warmer temperatures have caused later snowfalls and made it increasingly difficult to prepare winter sports facilities. Lillehammer for example, is one of the first stops for the Ski Jumping World Cup, but in recent years event organizers have had to go to great lengths to make sure the jumps were ready. Hanna Midstundstad has lived and trained in Lillehammer for the past seven years and provided some insight into the situation in Lillehammer. “There has never been a problem producing snow for the World Cup in Lillehammer, but three of the past four years, including this year, we have had to drive snow in to get the hills ready due to lack of cold weather in Lillehammer.” Iver Markengbakken, a coach who has lived in Lillehammer since 1998 added, “(translated) We have always been able to produce the snow ourselves, but the last few years, due to warm temperatures, we have had to use snow from the previous winter that was produced and stockpiled at Birkebeiner ski stadium.” Later snowfall due to warmer temperatures in Lillehammer has made it increasingly difficult to get winter sports facilities ready in time. The first event in Lillehammer is in early December, and despite being able to easily prep the hills in the past, Lillehammer athletes must now rely on snow shipped from other parts of Norway.