Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): Intervale Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 23, 1980
Date Finished: February 23, 1980
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
Toni Innauer, Olympic champion in the Normal Hill, was heavily favored for another gold in the Large Hill, but this time the 21-year-old Austian had much stronger competition from the other jumpers. In the first round the 21-year-old Swiss Hansjörg Sumi, made a mighty jump of 117.0 m, taking the lead ahead of Jouko Törmänen from Finland and Austria’s Hubert Neuper. In fourth place, to everyone’s great surprise, was Steve Collins, a 15-year-old Ojibway Indian from Canada, a jumper totally unknown outside his homeland. Innauer was in sixth position, almost 9 points behind Sumi.
In the second round, Neuper was starting first of the favorites and was in a clear lead after a good jump of 114.5 m. Finland’s Jari Puikkonen, lying fifth after the first round, was in second position when his teammate Törmänen impressed with another 117.0 m jump, taking over the lead. First of the challengers was Innauer, but a jump of only 107.0 m placed him behind Puikkonen and outside the medals. Next was the leader after the first round, the Swiss Sumi. He could not duplicate his first jump and landed at 100.0 m, 17.0 m shorter than his first jump. Last to jump was the 15-year-old Collins, a jump of 108.0 m would put him in the bronze medal position. However, the young Collins could not control his nerves, as his 102.5 m dropped him from fourth to ninth.
Finland had fought back against the Austrian/East German dominance in ski jumping, winning gold and bronze. The Austrian team jumped well, placing second, fourth and fifth, but for the East Germans the Large Hill event was a great disappointment, their best Henry Glass ending as a distant 11th. Steve Collins made his first trip to Europe directly after the games, winning the Junior World Championships in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden one week later. Some days after that he showed that his first jump in Lake Placid was not just luck, being the youngest ever winner of a World Cup ski jumping event in Lahti, Finland, four days before his 16th birthday.
|8||Jim Denney||22||United States||USA||239.1|
|11||Henry Glaß||26||East Germany||GDR||232.0|
|15||Klaus Ostwald||21||East Germany||GDR||225.1|
|18||Peter Leitner||24||West Germany||FRG||221.5|
|20||Manfred Deckert||18||East Germany||GDR||219.2|
|27||Walter Malmquist, II||23||United States||USA||205.4|
|28||Vladimir Vlasov||21||Soviet Union||URS||205.3|
|33||Harald Duschek||23||East Germany||GDR||198.6|
|34||Yury Ivanov||27||Soviet Union||URS||197.0|
|36||Aleksey Borovitin||25||Soviet Union||URS||193.4|
|39||Andrey Shakirov||20||Soviet Union||URS||187.0|
|41||Hubert Schwarz||19||West Germany||FRG||181.9|
|44||Jeff Davis||21||United States||USA||176.5|
|45||Reed Zuehlke||19||United States||USA||169.2|
|48||Hermann Weinbuch||19||West Germany||FRG||155.4|