Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Venue(s): Utah Olympic Park, Park City, Utah
Date Started: February 18, 2002
Date Finished: February 18, 2002
Format: Two jumps per team member, with both scored on distance and form. Four members per team, with all four jumps in each round to count towards team total.
Just as the two nations had fought for the title at the 2001 World Championships, the 2002 Olympic championship developed into a head-to-head between the teams from Germany and Finland. The two teams exchanged the lead throughout round one but Germany held the half way lead and held on to a single figure points margin for the bulk of the second round. With Germany’s last man [Martin Schmitt] to jump the calculations were that he would need a distance of around 124 m to win the gold for his team but he landed a half metre short at 123.5 m and everything would depend on his style marks.
Eventually the scoreboard flashed up that Germany had clinched the title by the minimum possible margin of one tenth of a point. If any of the eight German jumps had been a half metre shorter or any style mark had been 0.5 lower Finland would have been champions. The bronze medal was surprisingly won by Slovenia, their first in Olympic ski jumping.