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Women's ski jumpers set to make Olympic history

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Women's ski jumping will make its Winter Olympic debut in Sochi, and American jumpers couldn't be more excited.
PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Since the origin of the Winter Olympics, ski jumping has always been strictly a male sport. 

Not anymore.

Make room for the women, who will make history in Sochi as women's ski jumping finally makes it Olympic debut.

"It's a pretty cool story with a pretty happy ending," said Jessica Jerome.

The story began almost ten years ago when a group of American women were watching other women athletes represent their countries at the Olympics.

"We should be there walking with them into the opening ceremonies right now," said Abby Hughes. "This isn't OK."

After all, every other Olympic sport is open to both men and women. So after years of fighting, competing and always hearing no, finally in 2011, the International Olympic Committee approved women's ski jumping as an official Olympic event.

"We're equals, which is something that we've never said, ever," Hughes said right after the announcement over two years ago."

"I can't thank them enough," said Sarah Hendrickson. "I was pretty young and didn't really go through the fight personally. So, I can't thank them enough for all the hard work that they did. We're just very excited to show the world what women ski jumpers have been training so hard for."

"I think it's been past due, to let girls jump in the Olympics," added Jerome. "I'm just happy that it's just around the corner."

These women fought together so hard for so long, but now they are competing against each other for four spots on the first American team. 

"Of course if it were up to me, I'd be like 'Ya, let's all go compete,'" Jerome said. "We're all friends. It'll be fun. But, of course it's not like that."

"It's kind of like everyone is working real hard right now," added Alissa Johnson. "You don't want your spot to go to someone else. It's a rat race for sure."

These are true Olympic pioneers, role models for girls who now have the chance to pursue their dreams at the highest level.

"When I was growing up jumping, I didn't really have a female role model," Hughes said. "I always looked up to the guys. I want to make that opportunity available for girls to look up to women."

Video courtesy "Ready to Fly." http://readytoflyfilm.com
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