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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 wanting
Learning to Ski Jump in 1949 ... 20th Century Fox Movie Newsreel Footage!
Women’s Ski Jumping USA
Ski Jumping &
US Ski Team Nordic Sports
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National Ski Hall of Fame
Skiing Heritage Magazine
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2016 HOF Induction Highlights, Aug 6
Videos from ceremony have been published ... scroll down!
Here are the names of the 2016 inductees into the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame. They are:
Bernie Dion, Nita Englund, Ron Jacobson, Bruce Jennings, Lenny Johnson, Doug Maki, Will
Rhoads, Nils Stolzlechner, Blair Tomten, Dana Zelenakas & Jon Denney.
Prior to the banquet & induction ceremony, held at the Mt Frontenac golf course south of Red Wing
MN, more than 100 attendees were taken in a fleet of golf
carts to the site of a new Olympic-sized ski jump which
will be located on the golf course property, formerly a
downhill ski area. It is a spectacular location, overlooking
the hilly terrain along the Mississippi River. It was a
beautiful evening, and a great way to start the festivities.
> > > > > Click photo to enlarge (Andre Denney photo)
Bryan Sanders, 1992 Olympian and president of the American Ski Jumping HOF was the MC.
Featured speakers included Billy Demong, Olympic Gold Medalist in 2010, recently named
Executive Director of USA Nordic, and Dave Solner, internationally-recognized architect, new owner
of the Buck Hill ski area south of Minneapolis, and a former jumper. Billy spoke about his role in
helping USA Nordic grow the sport in the USA, and Dave showed the plans for the spectacular new
jump to be built at Mt Frontenac. See videos below:
VIDEOS FROM INDUCTION CEREMONY
(credits to Susan and Andre Denney)
INDUCTEES PRESENT FOR CEREMONY
(in order of presentation)
Welcome - Bryan Sanders
Keynote - Billy Demong
New Jump - Dave Solner
HOF Intro - Wally Wakefield
(accepted by dad)
INDUCTEES NOT PRESENT
Olympic-Sized Ski Jump to be Built Near Red Wing
Conceptual drawing of the new jump to be built at Mt Frontenac. The project
will be developed in conjunction with the Prairie Island tribe, which owns the
golf course and the nearby Treasure Island Casino. Tribal officials attended
the US large-hill National Championships in Park City in late July, and are
enthused about this project, and about bringing this sport back to the site of
its American roots.
click photo at left to enlarge conceptual view
ABOUT OUR LOCATION: RED WING and the ST JAMES HOTEL
The American Ski Jumping museum is located on the mezzanine level of the St James Hotel. Red
Wing is a beautiful town any time of year, nestled below a huge bluff on the Mississippi River. If you
can make it for the induction ceremony, or at any other time, please visit the museum in the hotel,
and take some time to explore this beautiful city.
In the year 1887, the sport of ski jumping was in its infancy in the USA. Norwegian immigrants had
brought this sport with them to America, and it caught on in a number of communities with significant
Scandinavian populations, and with hills conducive to this exciting sport. While there’s some
disagreement as to where the first actual competition was held, Red Wing was the scene of a
tournament won by Mikkel Hemmestvedt, who flew the great distance of ... 37 feet.
The sport thrived in communities large and small, but the number of jumpers dwindled when
recreational skiing became popular in the 1950s, and other winter sports also gained in numbers of
participants. Still, ski jumping has continued to thrive in a number communities scattered throughout
“snow country” in America.
HOW DOES THIS DIFFER FROM THE NATIONAL SKI HALL OF FAME IN ISHPEMING?
While a number of jumpers from the first half of the 20th century are enshrined at the National Ski
Hall of Fame in Ishpeming MI, a number of older folks with significant background in the sport of ski
jumping realized that it was time to establish a way to keep names and memories alive, covering the
specific history of ski jumping and Nordic Combined in the USA. The decision was made early on to
automatically induct Olympians and National Champions, so the HOF would be relevant to those
who know current and recent athletes, but who wouldn’t know older names and faces. The
nomination process provides for other names to be submitted.
We hope you’ll explore our website, and consider membership! It’s inexpensive, and important not
only to help the organization raise funds, but to give people a sense of ownership and affiliation with
this wonderful sport!