9-Year-Old’s First Ski Jump Inspires the Web

Melissa Knowles

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The latest viral video making its way around the Internet is inspiring people all over the world. Here's the scene: a 9-year-old fourth-grader is standing at the top of a steep ski hill preparing to take her first ski jump by going down the hill and then launching into the air. She is wearing a helmet cam that records what she is experiencing as she works up the nerve to take the jump.

You can hear her father dispensing words of encouragement and technical advice about how to approach the jump, and you can hear her voice tremble as she decides to go through with it. She says, "Here . . .  goes . . . something," when she finally decides to take off.

After she skis down the hill and launches off the ramp, the pure elation, joy, and relief she feels at the bottom is palpable. She lets out a big "yeah" as she is enjoying the feeling of accomplishment. People on the Web are calling the video "inspirational" and "extremely brave."

Ski jumping is an Olympic event that dates to the 1920s. However, only men have been able to compete in the event. That will change with the 2014 Winter Games in Russia. On April 6, 2011, the International Olympic Committee officially accepted women's ski jumping into the program.

Who knows, maybe this young girl will work her way to competing at that level some day.


In our next story, another YouTube video is getting quite a reaction from people, too.

An American Airlines flight attendant used his personal YouTube channel to poke fun at his employer, and he believes that he was fired for it. American Airlines says Gailen David was not fired because of his YouTube videos; he was fired because he published private passenger flight details and promoted competitor airlines on his site.

David, who dresses in drag and portrays a character named the "Aluminum Lady"-- a fictional American Airlines executive -- uploaded the videos to his "Sky Steward" channel. David pokes fun at the airline's financial situation.

David's videos and the articles he's written on his website, dearskysteward.com, have received tens of thousands of views and comments. He says the airline asked him to remove the videos

David told a Miami NBC affiliate that the videos were meant to provide comic relief. American Airlines is not laughing, even though "Sky Steward's" more than 400 subscribers might be. David is not going quietly. He plans to challenge the airline's decision through the flight attendants' union.

American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said David had been "counseled last year about the serious nature of both passenger privacy and conflict-of-interest violations." Hicks further stated that American Airlines takes "passengers' privacy seriously and will not allow employees to violate that trust."