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The Four Hills Tournament -- Ski Jumping

The Four Hills Tournament also known by the German name of Vierschanzentournee is a premiere ski jumping event in Europe. Although most Americans think only of the Winter Olympic Games when the sport of ski jumping is concerned, the Four Hills Tournament is one of the most watched ski television broadcasts in Europe. The ski event is a staple of the New Year's celebration in many countries as it traditionally takes place between December 30th and January 6th of each year.

The Four Hills Tournament's rich history and generous cash prizes attract the best ski jumpers from all over the world. The tournament also draws huge amounts of spectators. It is not uncommon for the tickets to sell out months in advance of the showdown of the world's top ski "fliers."

The event kicks of at Oberstdorf, Germany on December 30th. It moves over to the renowned ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen on January 1st. The next stop is in Austria at Innsbruck on January 4th. The finale takes place at Bischofshofen in Austria on January 6th.

Winning at each of the four stages of the ski jumping tournament is one or the most coveted achievements in the ski jumping circuit. Several athletes have come close to this goal by winning three of the hills but always failing the capture one final victory. During the 50th Four Hills Tournament in 2001/2002 German Sven Hannawald was the first ski jumper to win all four hills and set the new record to 139 meters at Bischofshofen.

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