Kevin Bickner: 5 Things To Know About USA Athlete Competing In Men’s Ski Jumping in Olympics

Kevin Bickner is headed to the 2022 Winter Games for ski jumping! Here's 5 things to know about current national record-holder set to compete in Beijing.

Kevin Bickner
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Image Credit: Hans Pennink/AP/Shutterstock

Kevin Bickner has accomplished a lot by 25! The ski jumper, who currently holds the U.S. record and is competing in the upcoming 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, is more than excited to take his skills to the snow. “My goals are to improve upon my results from last Olympics,” Kevin told NBC Chicago on Jan. 31.

“I had some good results last Olympics for it being my first. I didn’t get any medals or anything, but I had set some goals for myself and I reached those goals. Four years later I think I can be that much better. I want to improve on those same results and try and be the top competitor of my country again.”

Find out more about Kevin below and read about his journey to Beijing!

He began skiing at age 9  

Kevin was born September 23, 1996 in Wauconda, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He first became interested in the sport after witnessing it at the nearby Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove, Illinois. He apparently began practicing jumping on a plastic hill and, by age 11, started jumping the 70-meter hill — the tallest at the club. Five years after that, Kevin was living part-time in Park City, Utah and was a part of the U.S. developmental team.

“I remember as young as 3 years old, he was constantly climbing on things and jumping on this and that and it was almost more worrisome (than ski jumping),” his mom, Maureen Bickner, told TeamUSA.org ahead of the 2018 Winter Games. “It was good to get him into a sport where he could have that adrenaline rush in a controlled way.”

He’s the current national record holder in ski jumping 

Kevin, who’s 25, is the current U.S. record holder for the sport, jumping 244.5 meters (802 ft.). He achieved this feat on the Vikersund hill in Norway on March 19, 2017. Kevin had other notable accomplishments surrounding that record-breaking event, including scoring his first World Cup points in the 2016/17 season and finishing 23rd place at Klingenthal. He also finished 30th place at the large hill individual and 11th place at the team large hill at the 2017 Nordic World Championships.

He’s making his second Olympics appearance this year

Kevin’s first participation in the Winter Olympic Games was in 2018 at Pyeongchang. He finished 18th on the normal hill — the best by a U.S. man in the Olympics in 16 years. For that event he also finished 20th place at the large hill individual and 9th place at the team large hill.

“I was always planning on going to this Olympics,” Kevin told NBC Chicago ahead of the 2022 winter games. “There wasn’t this defining moment or anything. I knew it was a goal of mine and it kind of helped me structure my training plan for this whole year. I knew there was a level I had to get back to so I think it really helped me to come back with a lot of motivation and to work hard this whole year because this was a goal that I had and knew what I had to accomplish.”

He loves the outdoors — and not just for sports! 

Kevin loves the thrill of the ski jump, but he also loves the majesty and tranquility of the outdoors. On his Instagram, Kevin posts numerous idyllic shots from various locales. From the mountains in Slovenia to Baja California Sur to the Utah desert to Grand Teton National Park, Kevin’s adventurous spirit sure takes him all over the natural world!

His partner is super supportive of his career 

Kevin also posts sweet family and friends photos to his Instagram, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at his biggest supporters. One of those supporters? His partner, Gauge, seems to also enjoy being outdoors and spending time with her beau, showing up to far reaches across the world where Kevin competes in support. On Jan. 16, she posted a “v patriotic” pic at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to show up for Kevin, even getting some adorable shots of him signing autographs for fans. Seems like a keeper!

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