Person 2 Person: Ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson

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Person 2 Person: Ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson (Photo provided by Sarah Hendrickson)

(KUTV) Sarah Hendrickson was the first woman ever to jump in a ski jumping event at the Olympics.

The last time she was in the public eye was when she made that historic jump in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

"Since then, I've actually had three knee surgeries on the same knee," she said. So right now, she's in the middle of some major rehab.

And it's not an unfamiliar road for Hendrickson. She had injured her knee before the 2014 Olympics, so she trained hard to recover just in time for her memorable Olympic moment.

"It's been a tough road for sure," Hendrickson said. "But I kind of knew there was that risk of hurting the longevity of my knee with rehabbing so quickly to make it to Sochi. So, no regrets at all."

All of that rehab before Sochi was worth it to Hendrickson.

"Everything that I learned from that experience and the people that I met have just made me so much stronger and given me so much more drive to come back again," she said. "Looking back, it still brings a smile to my face."

Hendrickson has about five months left of rehab before she can get back on the snow.

Hendrickson started skiing at the age of two, and started ski jumping when she was seven years old.

Her brother had started ski jumping before her.

"Frankly, I got kind of sick of waiting around at his practice," she said. So her mom suggested she try it, too. And she loved it from the start.

It wasn't hard to find a place to train; Hendrickson was born and raised in Park City. But that also meant juggling training and living the normal life of a teenage.

"People probably think I'm pretty anti-social sometimes just because it's like eat, sleep, train--just everything is so sports-involved," she said. "It definitely is hard to juggle, but I think that's something that you have to learn to do as an athlete."

Hendrickson's family has been an "amazing support system" for her while she is on her athletic journey. Her dad is an avid skier, her mom is a runner, and her brother is a cross country skier.

"It's always an amazing feeling just to have that family behind me and helping me, pushing me, bringing me up with I'm down," she said. "I wouldn't be where I am today without them."

Hendrickson is also focusing on the future and what she will do after her ski jumping career is over. She has been taking classes through Utah State University and examining her career options.

"I really enjoy school and I really enjoy learning," she said.

But for now, she is working on getting stronger in order to make it to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She hopes to make a comeback from all of her injuries.

"I think every time you have a low, you can learn from those experiences and just come back stronger," Hendrickson said. "People say that, and it's really cliche, but you get mentally stronger, you learn more about yourself, you get closer with the people that really care about you, and you just grow."

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