Sport: Norwegian World Series

For a moment after the takeoff, soaring through the air at 50 m.p.h., Ski-Jumper Arne Hoel could hear nothing but the wind in his ears. Then he caught the roar of the crowd: 100,000 Norwegian heias (hurrahs) swelling up from the packed slopes of Holmenkollen jump, on the edge of Oslo Fjord. A Norwegian ski crowd can tell a fine leap long before the landing.

For the space of a few heartbeats, Hoel's broad skis floated him against the press of the air. Then, at the last moment, his skis came gracefully down, smacked...

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