How Do They Do That? Olympic Freestyle Skiing and Ski Jump

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 Lindsey Van of United States jumps during the Ladies' Normal Hill Individual Ski Jumping training on day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center on Feb. 8, 2014.
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This year, women are competing in the ski jump at the Winter Olympics for the first time ever.

It's a sport that really takes guts—athletes reach speeds of 60 miles per hour, launch themselves into the air and are essentially soaring over football field-sized courses before falling into what they hope are graceful landings.

And if you're like most people, you might be wondering: How in the world do they do that? Though ski jump is a spectacular combination of athletics, fearlessness, beauty and grace, it is ultimately about physics.

Eric Goff is The Takeaway's resident Olympics physicist and the voice of our series "How Do They Do That?" He's the chair of the Physics Department at Lynchburg College and author of "Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports."

Mick Berry, freestyle skiing coach for Park City Freestyle, in Park City, UT, weighs in on the precision and speed required to compete at this level.