Nightly News   |  January 22, 2014

Meet the First-Ever Women’s Ski Jumping Team

Sochi will feature a brand new Olympic event for women: ski jumping.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, we all know by tonight that american skier lindsey vonn is out of the competition, but another athlete, lindsey vann will be heard about. she is representing women 's team usa in women 's ski jumping , a brand-new olympic event for women , coming after women fought a long-hard battle just to compe compete. we get our report from anne thompson .

>> reporter: meet the first women on the ski jumping team, jessica jerone, reigning world champion , sarah hendrickson, and lindsey vann, the first world champion and hendrick's mentor.

>> i started jumping at the age of seven, just to be standing next to her in the opening ceremony is the best feeling in the world.

>> reporter: they are athletes and daredevils, soaring farther than the length of a football field , before coming to the pull of gravity. women started to jump more than a century ago in skirts, but the international olympic committee refused to let them in the game saying there were not enough female competitors. and as recently as 2005 , the officials questioned the impact on women 's bodies.

>> it is like jumping down from two meters, on the ground a thousand times a year would seem not to be appropriate for ladies from the point of view.

>> reporter: fed up, she sued for the right to compete in the 2010 vancouver games. they fell short, a painful memory van tries to swat away.

>> nothing, i got nothing.

>> are you done with it?

>> yeah, i'm done. all i remember from that is hating the fact that i was in court. we should have been home training. and we were not. that itself just -- sort of annoyed me.

>> reporter: the ioc relented in 2011 , but the fight united the women . and when hendrickson won the championship last year, van, jerome, and abbey hughes celebrated it as a victory for all. when they right the history of women 's ski jumping , what do you hope is written about this period?

>> you know i hope that they write that we did as much as we could for the sport. and we left it off better than we found it.

>> reporter: charting a flight path for women to follow. anne thompson , nbc news, park city , utah.