Today my friend Tara takes off in Lillehammer (Norway) in the first competition of this year's World Cup. She reported yesterday that "it felt great to start off the 2015-2016 season with a nice long jump of 91m." That's almost 300 feet for those who, like most of us in the U.S., are metric system illiterates.
Tara Geraghty-Moats is a working class kid from rural Vermont who has fought through injury and lack of funds to represent the United States among the best women ski jumpers in the world.
Learn more about that struggle in this short video.
Here is how it works for young U.S. athletes: instead of paying for their training and support as many countries do, our system teaches them to fundraise. So they do. Tara's World Cup page is here, with much more about her accomplishments and her plans.
In addition to her insistence on flying off ramps, Tara is a remarkable, mature, thoughtful person who I am lucky to have watched grow into herself.
UPDATE: Tara finished 17th in today's event, the top U.S.jumper. Not bad for someone who spent her summer working at a vegetable farm.