Ski Jumping &
US Ski Team Nordic Sports
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Welcome to the History of American Ski Jumping
Learning to Ski Jump in 1947 ... 20th Century Fox Movie Newsreel Footage!
This is what kids were doing back in the late 1940s if they
lived near a ski jump and had big dreams of flying!
This 20th Century Fox newsreel footage was filmed in Iron
Mountain, Michigan, and one of the featured jumpers is 2009
ASJ HOF inductee Willie Erickson, at age 11 (he’s the one
who identified the year for us!).
Those old enough to remember newsreels at the movies
will possibly recognize the voice of the narrator, Mel Allen,
famed voice of the New York Yankees.
The equipment has changed, the facilities look much
different today, but ski jumpers start young, on small hills,
just like they did back then.
Your webmaster, and many of the folks involved with the
American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame, will remember scenes
just like these. Younger athletes will have different pictures
in their heads, but they will all remember one thing they have
in common ... experiencing the thrill of flight and always
Ski Jumping Trivia: Early North American Records
As often happens when you get a bunch of old ski jumpers together, a discussion took place during our 2018 Hall of Fame weekend. It was about early world records
for distance, and the fact that a few of them had been set in the United States.
Here’s a quick summary, and we’ll provide more on this at a later date. The first reported US distance record was set in Red Wing in 1887 by Mikkel Hemmestvedt, a
Norwegian immigrant. He flew 37 feet. The existing world record had been set in Norway the previous year at 85 feet. Hemmestvedt set a new world record in 1891,
soaring 102 feet in Red Wing. His brother Torjus topped that by flying 103 feet 1893, the second consecutive world record set in Red Wing.
The world record was broken six more times until it reached 135 feet, set in Norway by Nils Gjestvang in 1902 (and that’s where it stood when the Wright Brothers
made the first airplane flight of 120 feet in 1903).
The record returned to the US midwest in 1909, this time at Chippewa Falls WI, when Oscar Gunderson flew 138 feet. That record was short-lived as records of 141
(Italy) & 148 (Switzerland) were set same year.
It would return to the USA in 1911, when Anders Haugen flew 152 feet in Ironwood MI. Norway reclaimed the record in 1912, but in 1913 it was broken twice on the
same day, again in Ironwood, by Ragnar Omtvedt, who sailed 158 and 169 feet.
After the record was broken again in 1913 in Norway, and 1915 in Switzerland, Omtvedt brought it back to the USA with a distance of 192 feet at Steamboat Springs
CO in 1916. Henry Hall then set new world records of 203 feet (1917) and 214 feet (1918) at Steamboat.
The record remained in the USA for the next two years, broken by Haugen both times, but at Dillon CO, with distances of 213 feet (1919) and 214 feet (1920) . Hall
would go on in 1921 to set a new record in Revelstoke BC, Canada, at 229 feet, ending quite a string of world records set in the US. Revelstoke would be the site of
several more world records, the last of which was set in 1933 at a distance of 287 feet.
That was the last world distance record to be set in North America. Want to know more about distance records, and see photos of ski jumping in bygone years, see
Other Resources page via link in top navigation bar.
Use these controls to see more pages in this list
US Olympic Ski Jumpers 1924 - 2018 (click column title to sort)
Skiing Heritage Magazine
National Ski Hall of Fame
2024 ASJ Hall of Fame Banquet / Golf Event Sat Aug 10
Mark your calendar now to attend our event in 2024
Our 2023 Golf Outing and HOF Induction Banquet was held in Red Wing MN on Aug 19.
Golf began with a shotgun start at noon at the Red Wing Country Club. For attendees not
golfing, the ASJ Museum on the mezzanine level at the St James Hotel was open all afternoon.
The banquet was held at the St. James, beginning with a social hour at 5:30. We had about
80 guests in attendance, and our program was well received.
We thank the St James for their hospitality, and we especially thank them for hosting our
display area on the mezzanine above the lobby. It’s a pleasure to work with these fine folks.
The list at left is a
compilation of all American
Olympic ski jumpers, with
their year(s) of participation
and finishing position.
You can use controls at
bottom to move between
pages, and you can click
column titles to change
A similar scrolling list of all
the American Ski Jumping
HOF inductees can be found
on our Hall of Fame page.
Five Inducted in ASJ Hall of Fame Class of 2023
Five inductees will be honored at the Aug 19 HOF banquet at the St James Hotel
in Red Wing MN. They are Brady Emerson, Jon Farnham, Steve Haik, Scott
Lubansky, and Bill Polanka.