Throughout the tournament we have seen thousands of different faces, different personalities, marvellous ski jumps, many sunny days, four different astonishing ski hills, happy ski jumpers, many volunteers who care for others and many memorable moments. RAW AIR 2018 is one for the books.

During the tournament 91 500 spectators showed up in the different arena’s. This is an increase from last year’s numbers. Audience from all over the world came together to watch the tournament first hand in the four different hills. Flags, songs and different chants resounded through the crowded hills.

Project leader Terje Lund is very pleased with this year’s tournament. He tells that the objectives that were made before the tournament began, were achieved.
– We are very pleased. Our objectives were to deliver logistics, and follow through the tournament, on the same level as last year. And we aimed for more spectators. We achieved both points, tells Lund.

In addition to reaching the goal, the project leader, tells that the immediate response after the tournament have been positive.
– We have received positive feedback both during and after RAW AIR. Both from FIS and th

e athletes, but there are probably things we can do better, tells Lund.

The project leader says that there will be done a thorough evaluation of the tournament in the time ahead. And that he is excited to see what kind of response they will receive on the evaluation. Terje Lund says that he is excited for next year.
– We are looking forward to next year, says Lund.

The tournament started off in Holmenkollen. The athletes where ready for the upcoming ten days, and where pleased that the tournament had begun. During the first three days we experienced different types of weather; the verge of a snowstorm, snow, cloudy weather and sunshine.

Even though the weather kept on changing a bit, the spirit of the spectators and ski jumpers were at an all-time high. They smiled and showed excitement throughout it all. The arena was filled with painted faces, banners and flags from different nations. Thousands of Polish fans filled up the arena, and created an exciting atmosphere. During this three days 40 000 people were in the arena.

First competition was qualification. Kamil Stoch won and right behind him were Robert Johansson and Richard Freitag. Next day it was time for team competition. Norway showed good tendencies and won. Poland came in second and Austria in third place. Even though Norway won, Kamil Stoch still jumped amazing and kept the overall lead.

The last day in Holmenkollen many spectators showed up. It was time for individual competition. The Norwegian ski jumper Daniel-André Tande took first place. Last year’s winner, Austrian ski jumper, Stefan Kraft ended up in second place and his teammate Michael Hayböck took a surprising third place. Kamil Stoch ended up in sixth place but kept the lead in the overall placement. After the competition it was time for the next destination. Lillehammer was up next. The ski jumpers, their support teams and team captains were placed on buses which took them to the next location.

After Holmenkollen, Lillehammer was up next. The buses filled with people who participated in the tournament, arrived in Lillehammer late Sunday night. They went straight to their rooms, because the next day it was time for a new competition.

The hill in Lillehammer is a spectacular view. Overlooking the whole city and Norway’s biggest lake Mjøsa, it is some sight. First competition in Lillehammer was qualification. With weather that changed for the absolute better right before the qualifications, everything was in perfect condition for some great days in Lillehammer. 1000 people showed up to watch the qualifications. Robert Johansson was on his home ground and showed great excitement for being able to compete on his home turf. He came in third place on the first day in Lysgårdsbakken. Kamil Stoch was phenomenal and won the competition.

The next day, Tuesday, it was time for individual competition in Lillehammer. 7000 spectators showed up and made the day magical. The spectacular scenery that surrounds the hill came in full view on this day. With great conditions came some amazing jumps.

Photo: Geir Olsen / NTB scanpix

Kamil Stoch showed us incredible jumping already at this point. Dawid Kubacki came in second place and Robert Johansson who was on his home ground came in third place.

After some successful days in Lillehammer it was time to head for the next destination, Trondheim. The buses waited outside the athletes’ hotel at 06.30 Wednesday morning, ready to take them to Granåsen.

After a long bus ride from Lillehammer to Trondheim the athletes finally arrived in Trondheim. No one was complaining over the bus ride, and everyone was excited to be a part of the second round of the tournament. When they arrived at the hotel the ski jumpers headed straight for lunch, and after that straight to the qualification in Granåsen. With impeccable conditions and 1000 spectators present, Kamil Stoch won the qualification. He then had a streak of being the overall leader six days in a row. Andreas Stjernen who was on his home ground came in second place to the spectator’s thrill.

The next day it was time for individual competition in Granåsen. With extreme conditions, somewhat in a good way, we witnessed some mesmerizing jumps in Granåsen. There were 15 000 spectators in Granåsen that day. The atmosphere was incredible. We even witnessed a new hill record executed by Kamil Stoch. Now the new hill record in Granåsen is 146 meters. He won the individual competition and remained the overall leader.

After the competition everyone headed to the hotel to grab their luggage. After getting their luggage ready it was time for dinner. After dinner everyone were place on buses who took them to the airport where a plane was waiting for the involved parties in the tournament. Now it was time for the last stop on the journey – Vikersund.

The airplane landed late Thursday night at Gardermoen airport. Five buses waited for the ski jumpers, support teams and team captains, ready to take them to their hotel in Drammen. Arriving at their hotel, it was so late, so it was time to find their rooms.

Friday it was time for qualifications in Vikersund. The starting point of the competition got delayed. An hour later than the original starting point of the qualification, the competition finally gets a clear signal from the judges. The reason it got delayed was because of wind.

The conditions were tough, but Kamil Stoch delivered again and won the competition. He was, at this point, still the overall leader eight days in a row. 4000 people showed up to the qualification. The question at that point where if he would take it all the way.

Next day it was time for team competition in Vikersund. 11 000 people were in the arena. Amazing weather, amazing jumping and amazing audience equals an amazing day. Norway showed again that they are best at team competitions. Every member of the team was fantastic and showed the others why they won an Olympic medal in this exact competition. Poland came in second place and Slovenia in third place. Kamil Stoch still had the overall lead and would be hard to beat in the final competition on the tournament the following day.

The last day of the tournament delivered. Before the main event there was an event for kids called “Mini Raw Air”. This was a ski jumping competition for kids. Everything was made like the real Raw Air, just in miniature. A fantastic event which brought so much joy for the kids who participated in the tournament, and for the spectators who got to see the happiness the event gave kids. Brilliant happening.

Vikersund 20180317. Polske Kamil Stoch i lørdagens trening før lagkonkurransen i RAW AIR. Foto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Last competition of RAW AIR 2018 was the individual competition in Vikersund. There were some great expectations on this day. Many spectators who were eager to see their favourite athletes in the last competition. The hype for a new world record were present. The day was filled with excitement. The sun was out, and the conditions were splendid. It was a perfect day to do some ski jumping.

When the competition started the Norwegian ski jumpers showed good tendencies. And in the end the podium was filled with Norwegians. Robert Johansson won the competition, Andreas Stjernen got in second place and Daniel-André Tande came in third place. Even though the last competition was won by Robert Johansson, nothing could stop the polish ski jumper, Kamil Stoch, from taking the overall win of RAW AIR 2018. In front of 12 500 people he won the tournament.

Kamil Stoch fra Polen under søndagens finale i RAW AIR i Vikersundbakken. Foto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

He ended up in sixth place in the last competition, but with the grand lead he had, he still won with 37 points. Congratulations!

The 2018 edition of RAW AIR delivered some fantastic moments. With weather that you could only dream for, the tournament went better than expected. Many spectators took their time to enjoy some good sport moments in the arenas. Volunteers took their time to contribute and that is much appreciated. A fair tournament with pleased athletes. To finish the summery up here is a quote from Kamil Stoch, the winner of RAW AIR 2018 at the press conference right after the competition was over. “This whole tournament was amazing.”