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Duluthian judges ski-jumping World Cup in Finland

Steve Sydow holds up the "old fashion" rating cards. Now judges rate the jumpers by computer. (Photo submitted)1 / 5
A Feb. 12, 1984 Duluth News Tribune article about Steve Sydow. (Duluth News Tribune archives)2 / 5
An undated photo of Steve Sydow ski-jumping. (Duluth News Tribune file photo)3 / 5
The crowd around the ski-jumping competition in Lahti, Finland. (Photo submitted)4 / 5
A revolving restaurant in the background gives patrons views of the ski jumps in Kuopio. (Photo submitted)5 / 5

Duluthian Steve Sydow assisted as a judge at the Ski Jumping World Cup competition at the Lahti Ski Games in Finland, March 6-8. He also went to Kuopio, Finland as a judge for the next World Cup in the circuit, Puijon Kisat, March 9-10.

Sydow, who works in the Duluth shipping industry, says he got involved in judging as a way to give back back to a sport that had been good to him.

"I was an athlete way back in time, ultimately reaching third in the U.S. National Championships in 1987 before the Olympics in Calgary," he said.

Sydrow was a Duluth Ski Club member and a professional coach.

"Ski jumping gave me the opportunity to visit Japan and go to Europe more than 30 times," he said. "I earned scholarships to college and met many people from all over the world." Because Chester Bowl no longer has jumps, he said that judging is the only way to remain intimately involved.

In 1987, Sydow placed third in National Championships in Lake Placid. In 1988 he placed 10th in the 1988 Olympic tryouts.He said was invited to be an alternate and tester, but did not compete.

Sydow holds the record on Big Chester at 54.5 m or 180 feet, which he achieved in the mid-1990s.

Sydow graduated from Duluth Cathedral High School in 1984.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at www.DuluthDailyPhoto.com.

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