PARK CITY, UT (Sept. 25) – The hunt for the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids continues for USSA club ski jumper Nina Lussi (Lake Placid, NY). She received enough votes to move on to the next round and is now one of six athletes who are up for the honor of being named 2008 Sports Kid of the Year.
The winner, who will be decided by online voting at http://www.sikids.com/sportskid/index.html , will grace the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids as well as win a trip to New York City to attend the Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year awards. Online voting for Sports Kid of the Year runs till noon ET on Sept. 29, after which the semifinal round of voting, top four athletes begins.
“It's nice to be nominated, especially since I ski jump, which is not something many people know about,” Lussi said. “When I found out I had made top 10, I was basically screaming. I was pretty excited.”
Lussi, who's now one of six athletes up for the award from 6,000 nominated, is a 14-year-old ski jumper out of the New York Ski Education Foundation. She was highlighted by Sports Illustrated for Kids for winning the 2008 Junior National Ski Jumping Championships at the Junior Olympics in Ishpeming, MI last March.
“Winning a competition isn't the best thing about ski jumping. The best thing is when you finally have a really good jump and you go further than you ever have before. It's the greatest feeling,” said Lussi of her love for her sport. “Most of my friends spend their summer on the beach, but every day I'm at the jumps or in the gym training.”
Her club coach Casey Colby is especially proud of her accomplishment.
“Ski jumping is a highly technical and high-speed sport, making it very difficult,” Colby told SI for Kids. “Nina's technique on the ski jump is far advanced compared to most female athletes in the world. Her ability to continually improve this technique is impressive for any ski jumper, especially a 14 year old, of either gender.”
Her competition for the Sports Kid of the Year award includes 15-year-old fencer Katharine Holmes from Washington, D.C. and 7-year-old hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball player Derek Andrews also a fellow New Yorker.
Give Lussi and ski jumping your vote now at http://www.sikids.com/sportskid/index.html . Voting closes at noon ET on Sept. 29 and multiple votes are allowed.