Germany's Carina Vogt won the first women's ski jumping gold medal in the event's Olympic debut in Sochi on Tuesday.
Austria's Daniela Iraschko-Stolz won silver and France's Coline Mattel took home bronze.
Japan's Sara Takanashi, 17, and American Sarah Hendrickson, 19, who had been viewed as medal favorites coming into the event, finished fourth and 21st in the event.
The other Americans in the event, Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van, finished 10th and 15th, respectively.
Hendrickson hadn't jumped competitively before Sochi since suffering a knee injury in August. With her knee still hampering her, she qualified for the finals, but her final jump of 91.5 meters and a score of 217.6 wasn't enough.
Besides the the ligaments in her knee, Takanashi figured to be Hendrickson's biggest obstacle, since she has dominated the 2013-14 World Cup season in Hendrickson's absence, winning 10 of 13 events going into the Olympics.
While neither Takanashi nor Hendrickson won medals on Tuesday, the two have traded spots atop the world of women's ski jumping over the past few years. Hendrickson won the 2011-12 season World Cup title and beat out Takanashi for the 2013 world championship. However, she lost the 2012-13 World Cup title to her Japanese rival.