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What They Were Thinking

What They Were Thinking: Taking flight

Spencer Knickerbocker, 19, winning the open class in the USA Ski Jumping competition at Harris Hill, Brattleboro, Vt., Feb. 18, 2012.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Spencer Knickerbocker, 19, winning the open class in the USA Ski Jumping competition at Harris Hill, Brattleboro, Vt., Feb. 18, 2012.

Every Sunday, Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld asks the subject of one of his photos to explain what’s happening in the shot.

Up today: Spencer Knickerbocker, 19, winning the open class in the USA Ski Jumping competition at Harris Hill, Brattleboro, Vt., Feb. 18, 2012.

Continue reading it below

Knickerbocker: ‘‘The whole thought process starts at the top of the jump. I was just trying to stay calm and be relaxed. It’s somewhat like a golf swing. When you go up there and hit a drive, you’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to do this, this, and this to hit the ball far.’ Same thing for ski jumping, except it’s a little bit more exciting. I had a good takeoff and a good jump. So then you’re just looking off at the bottom of the hill — part of your vision is you can see the whole crowd below — but you’re kind of looking at where you are going to land. It’s a pretty exhilarating feeling. You have a rumbling in your stomach, kind of like butterflies. If you’ve controlled everything, it’s the most peaceful part. You’re almost in this next world because you’re in the air and it’s peaceful. It feels like you’re going in slow motion but you’re going 60 m.p.h. I’mdefinitely not crazy. The thing about ski jumping is you’re never more than about 15 feet off the ground."

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