Barrington Olympian, Casey Larson Prepares for Large Hill Ski Jump Competition in Beijing Winter Games

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From his first Norge Ski Club jump at age-six to his second time on the Olympic stage, Barrington High School 2017 alum and TeamUSA’s Casey Larson is gearing up for the Men’s Individual Large Hill competition in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, China. The trial round for qualification kicks off at 3:45am our time Friday morning with the final round scheduled for 6am CST Saturday.

Photo Credit: @NordicFocus

Here’s when to watch Casey in action…

Friday, February 11th – Men’s Ski Jumping Large Hill Qualification
– 3:45am – Trial Round for Qualification
– 5:00am – Individual Qualification Round (The top 50 athletes qualify to the 1st round)
– Live: Streaming on @peacocktv, & NBC Sports App

Saturday, February 12th – Men’s Ski Jumping Large Hill Final
– 4:00am Trial Round for Competition, 5:00am First Round, 6:00am Final Round
– Live: Streaming on @peacocktv, & NBC Sports App

Casey ranked 39th in the men’s individual normal hill jump competition which wrapped up Sunday with gold, silver and bronze medals going to athletes from Japan, Austria and Poland. TeamUSA’s Kevin Bickner of Wauconda and Patrick Gasienica of Spring Grove all trained at Norge and ranked 43rd and 49th in the individual normal hill jump.

Casey’s parents and sister, Cara have been watching the games together during “watch parties” organized by the US Olympic Committee in Park City, UT. I caught up with his dad, Guy Larson, by phone, on his way to the airport. Guy says Casey has come a long way since his first jump at Fox River Grove’s Norge Ski Club 16-years-ago and has grown tremendously since his first Olympic games in 2018.

365: How did Casey get his start?

Guy Larson: “We’re a big ski family. My kids were both skiing when they were two and three-years-old, snowboarding, the whole bit.  Friends of ours invited us to a recruiting open house at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove when Casey was 6-years-old. He was watching and said he’d like to try that so we got some equipment and the rest is history. We had no idea it would take him this far but it’s been a really fun journey.”

365: How hard has Casey worked to reach this point in his athletic career? 

Guy Larson: “All through high school, Casey did every imaginable team sport. Baseball, football, he played a lot of lacrosse. Sophomore year he decided to hone in on ski jumping. That was a pivotal moment. He quickly improved and got on junior national team that year and it’s been a higher level of focus and commitment to ski jumping ever since.”

365: What have been some of the secrets to Casey’s success? 

Guy Larson: “The ski jumpers make it look easy but it’s a very, very regimented training program. Casey is a true, full-time athlete. Training is his main job… You really have to have that level of dedication to do your best and be the best in the world. One of the things Casey brings to the table is a really great work ethic. He thinks, ‘I’m just going to outwork everyone.’ If the coach says he should do ten, he’ll do twenty.”

365: How is Casey different today compared to his first Olympic appearance four years ago in PyeongChang, South Korea?

Guy Larson: “His mindset is really good right now. He’s very positive and excited and happy to be there. The last time in South Korea he was very new on the team. There was a tough selection situation to get on the team back then. This year he’s feeling really good and has had some solid results and he’s healthy so hopefully there are no issues with Covid or any last minute hiccups that can happen with the crazy situation we’re living in. Hopefully all goes well in all competitions and he represents the US as best he can.”

365: How has he prepared both mentally and physically for these Olympics? 

Guy Larson: “He works hard and has seen big improvements working with a nutritionist and really dialing into his nutrition. Ski jumpers need to be light and strong. They need to find that balance of really healthy eating and very focused nutrition and exercise for physical preparation.

The other huge thing is how mentally taxing the sport is. It’s a sport that you could consider the most difficult mental sport in the world. A lot of sports you have an opportunity to correct a mistake or you have another inning, another round. With ski jumping you’ve got one shot. It’s extremely technical. You’re trying to perform a powerful maneuver at 60-miles-an-hour. You get one thing wrong and it’s over. There’s no way to correct a mistake or get a second chance and it’s tough.”

“With maturity also comes that mental acuity. You’re able to work with a sports psychologist and be able to try to control those nerves and control those elements that go with performing at an elite level. We are very proud of him, as you can imagine. It’s been a great journey and he’s had a good four years putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

We would have never guessed that when Casey was 6-years-old, checking out the ski jump by our house would end up with him having such a wonderful career and be able to represent the US in this way. We have a solid team, they’re all good friends and it means a lot to them. They know that they can be role models for other people and they do take that responsibility seriously.”

Guy Larson also serves as chairman of the training center at Norge Ski Club, which he calls one of the best training facilities in North America where they’re constantly updating facilities and offering valuable coaching opportunities thanks to a strong community of supporters right here in our own back yard.

To read more about Casey Larson’s journey to the 2022 Winter Olympics, Click here for the story we published exactly four years ago today when he made history as the 100,000th male Olympian during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Go back even further in time with this video about the Ski Jumping Siblings, Casey and his sister Cara Larson, as they prepared for the Junior World Ski Championship in Râșnov, Romania. This one was produced by our 365BarringtonTV crew in February of 2016.

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