Sport: Jumping Gene

American ski jumpers seldom finish better than 20th in big international meets, but last week a young 18-year-old from Duluth, Minn, placed tenth against the world's best at the Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway. He would have done still better had he not faltered on one landing. As it was, Eugene Robert Kotlarek actually outjumped the winner, and established himself in a sport traditionally dominated by Europeans.

Slim (5 ft. 11 in., 143 Ibs.) and supple, Gene Kotlarek first lashed on a pair of jumping skis at the age of four under the watchful eyes of his truck-driver father, George Kotlarek, himself a...

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