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Olympic ski jumping: Sarah Hendrickson doesn't medal, but makes history anyway

Sarah Hendrickson of the United States competed in the inaugural women's Olympic ski jumping event in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 11.
Sarah Hendrickson of the United States competed in the inaugural women's Olympic ski jumping event in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 11.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Women's ski jumping made its long-awaited Olympic debut at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 11. Although reigning world champion Sarah Hendrickson of the United States failed to medal, she etched her name in the history books as the first woman to ever jump in the Olympics thanks to her number one bib.

The 19-year old Hendrickson, who battled back from a series knee injury sustained in August of 2013 to make the Olympic team alongside trials winner Jessica Jerome and 2009 world champion Lindsey Van, struggled during the competition, eventually finishing a disappointing 21st out of 30 jumpers.

Although sad, the outcome wasn't entirely unexpected, as Hendrickson, who confessed to feeling pain in her surgically repaired knee, also fared poorly during Feb. 9 practice jumps, which saw her pass on her first runs and then finish at the back of the pack during subsequent attempts.

The gold medal went to Germany's Carina Vogt, while Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria claimed silver. France's Coline Mattel rounded out the podium in third. Jerome, who earned the highest placement of the U.S. ladies, finished 10th, while Van came in 15th.

The 2014 Winter Olympics will resume Feb. 12 with more intense international athletic competition.