2014 Winter Olympics: 10 Interesting Facts About Sarah Hendrickson

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2014 Winter Olympics: 10 Interesting Facts About Sarah Hendrickson

Sarah Hendrickson Promo
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Sarah Hendrickson can be considered a comeback story ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics after sustaining knee ligament damage in late August of last year. Hendrickson was considered by many to be the best chance for the United States to win Gold in the newly-recognized Olympic sport of women's ski jumping, but had her back against the wall coming into this year. She was one of eight top athletes that fell victim to major injuries since the beginning of last year, starting with Daniela Iraschko in January of 2013.

Still, Hendrickson's focus was on her own rehabilitation and she learned on January 22 that she will be one of three women representing the United States in Russia. Hendrickson will join Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van on the team that looks to create history 90 years after the men first competed in the Olympics in the same sport.

RusSki Gorki Jumping Center at the Mountain Cluster east of Sochi will be the home for ski jumping in February. Hendrickson will face fierce competition from jumpers hailing from Scandinavian nations including Norway and Finland, but Japan's Sara Takanashi is the overall favorite. The women only get one chance to medal on the normal hill of 90 meters long as they are scored by five judges on distance and style. Unlike the World Cup, there are no mixed events on the schedule in Sochi.

The young Hendrickson now gets to realize a dream that Jerome and Van worked to make a reality over the last decade. She is the future of the new Olympic sport, so lets get to know her.

Douglas Smith is a soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10. Injury History

Sarah Hendrickson Celebrates
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The injury in August 2013 was not the first time Sarah Hendrickson had to rehabilitate a tough injury. She had surgery in the spring of 2012 to repair cartilage in her knee. However, the August injury was more severe as Hendrickson's MCL separated from the bone and recoiled into her leg. Her ACL was completely torn and there was damage to 80 percent of her meniscus. The normal timeline for recovery is six months, but Hendrickson has made the comeback in five.

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9. Hobbies

Sarah Hendrickson Skis
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Hendrickson is only 19-years old and finished high school just last year. She lists skiing, running, hiking, biking and most recently slacklining as her hobbies. So if you want to meet her, just go outside.

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8. Sponsors

Sarah Hendrickson Kellogs
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Hendrickson is sponsored by Kellogg's, Red Bull, Visa, Oakley, and United Airlines.

Her equipment list includes USANA, Uvex and Nike.

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7. Size

Sarah Hendrickson Jump
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The Olympic set up gives those competing in women's ski jumping a longer course to build speed, which will come in handy for Hendrickson, who is 5-foot-4 and 95 pounds. She will still exceed 60 miles per hour as she races down the ramp.

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6. Superstitions

Sarah Hendrickson USOC
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Hendrickson is superstitious and will tie her left boot first before a jump.

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5. World Cup Champion

Sarah Hendrickson USA
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Hendrickson is the 2013 World Cup Champion after capturing the title in Val di Fiemme, Italy, just two years prior she finished 16th in the same competition.

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4. Upbringing

Sarah Hendrickson Promo2
Russell Isabella - USA TODAY Sports

Hendrickson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, so nordic events have always been a part of her life. Her older brother Nick introduced her to ski jumping when she was five-years old. She did not attempt the sport until she was seven-years old.

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3. Best Jump Ever

Sarah Hendrickson Flies
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Her personal best jump took place in Lillehammer, Norway, coming in at 143 meters (or 469 feet).

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2. Ski Nation

Sarah Hendrickson Official USOC
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Hendrickson is part of a group of nordic athletes that founded Ski Nation, a universal mobile application that works anywhere one can ski and creates a social network for those interested in the various aspects of skiing. The skiing network was launched in September and is still working out the bugs. Others that have contributed include Ted Ligety and Bode Miller, as well as athletes from the X Games.

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1. Social Media

Sarah Hendrickson Listens to Anthem
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Hendrickson is very active on social media, whether it's on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram