BRATTLEBORO -- Arriving in town on Wednesday, Christopher Lamb hopes to retire the Fred Harris Trophy.
"I've always loved competing in Brattleboro," he said. "It's a great event. We usually get a lot of publicity, people and vendors. It's an awesome atmosphere to be part of. I always enjoy coming back. Being able to compete for the trophy just adds a little more to the excitement for me."
The two-day Harris Hill Ski Jumping competition, which feature's Vermont's only 90-meter jump, begins on Feb. 15. It is located on Cedar Street in Brattleboro.
Lamb began jumping at the Harris Hill site when he was 11 years old. He continued to compete there as a junior.
When organizers rebuilt the hill in 2010, Lamb returned and won gold for the first time. He also set the hill record of 102 meters that day. In 2012, Lamb took second place on both days. The following year, he won on both days. It was the second time he won the trophy.
The trophy has only been retired five times throughout the history of the competition. With two wins under his belt, Lamb is the only competitor with the potential to retire the trophy this year. When a person wins, their name is printed on the trophy and if the same person wins three times, they then get to bring it home.
"I have only one more leg to retire it," Lamb said. "It's motivation for me to try and take it home this year."
One of the best parts for Lamb of the jump being in Brattleboro is that his friends and family are able to attend and support him. Having grown up in Andover, N.H., the drive is only two hours.
Ski jumping has always been a passion for Lamb, who says that he's put a lot of hard work and dedication into the sport.
"The more work I've put in, the more it means to me to be able to do it," he added. "Of course, it's a great thing to do. Go and hang out with your friends and compete in places like Harris Hill and fly through the air. It's kind of an unbeatable experience."
The ski jumping all started in Andover, when Lamb was only 6 years old. Friends of his were getting into jumping. His parents pushed him, believing it would be a positive thing for him to start.
From there, Lamb fell in love with the sport. He saw it televised from the 1998 Olympics at Nagano, Japan. That had been the selling point for him.
"That's what I aspired to be and so I have been just working towards it ever since," he concluded.
Currently, Lamb is on the U.S.A. Ski Jumping Team. According to the team's website, his longest jump was 191.5 meters. The Harris Hill record is still his.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.