About American Ski Jumping HOF & Museum
Mission Statement This website is devoted to the rich heritage of the sport of ski jumping in the USA, beginning with the first recorded tournament in 1887 at Red Wing MN and continuing through the present and into the future. It incorporates the online American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame. Scroll down the page a bit for background on this organization and website. Contact Us Board of Directors & Executive Committee For information about this organization Scott Smith, President, Acting Treasurer or website, please contact: Jim Grahek Scott McGuire Scott Smith, President Cooper Dodds sds63@sbcglobal.net Greg Windsperger Ken Anderson, Webmaster, Membership webmaster@skijumpingusa.com member@americanskijumping.com About Our Location: Red Wing MN 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. The St James is at 406 Main St; if museum’s locked, ask for key at front desk. 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 MI? 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! See our Membership page … Background ... How We Came To Be In late 2005, informal discussions began among a number of former ski jumpers in Minnesota. The impetus came from a desire on the part of several remaining members of the Aurora Ski Club of Red Wing, which disbanded in the 1950s, but which was one of the most important of the early clubs. There was a desire on their part to have some sort of recognition of their city as the birthplace of American ski jumping. One of the key members of this founding group was Jerry Borgen, who had been the last active jumper in the Aurora Ski Club. Members of the St Paul Ski Club, which was founded in 1885 and is still operating, concurred with this designation, although in fact, records show that St Paul had held a tournament two weeks earlier. For many years, the 37 foot flight of Norwegian immigrant Mikkel Hemmestvedt in Red Wing has been published as the first American distance record. As a result of the deliberations of this group, The City of Red Wing was authorized to issue a proclamation in May 2006, recognizing their community as the "birthplace of American ski jumping." Inevitably, discussion of lasting recognition for ski jumpers crept into our conversations. While a number of jumpers have been enshrined in the National Ski Hall of Fame, the decline of numbers of US jumpers over the past fifty years, along with the growth of recreational skiing and snowboarding, makes the future recognition of jumpers by NSHF seem less likely. There have been some outstanding jumpers in the recent past, as well as the present. This includes both male and female athletes. These accomplished athletes, and those in future years, should know that their achievements will be recognized and remembered in a Hall of Fame dedicated to the discipline of ski jumping. The general consensus among those who had attended meetings, or who have had individual discussions about the possibility of establishing a HOF for jumpers, led us to explore how this might be done. While the folks from Red Wing have concentrated on developing a permanent physical display including hall of fame pictures, biographies, and artifacts, all seemed to agree that the HOF should be virtual ... i.e. web-based, and not confined to any specific location. A committee was established to develop guidelines for nomination and selection, and that committee continues to perform and refine the process. On Feb 2, 2007, a 24-page insert appeared in the Red Wing Republican-Eagle, containing historic pictures and articles about ski jumping in Red Wing. We want to recognize Jerry Borgen and Fred Johnson of Friends of American Ski Jumping, along with Annie Stumpf and Kayla Staub of the Republican-Eagle for doing a terrific job on this impressive insert! Click here to view a 2.8MB pdf file showing all 24 pages of the insert. One of the continuing concerns among those who have been involved in our discussions has been to identify museums and private collections related to the sport of ski jumping. This would include such institutions as the National Ski Hall of Fame (Ishpeming MI) and the Engen Museum (Utah Olympic Park, Park City UT), the clubhouse collections at such places as the St Paul Ski Club and the Norge Ski Club (Fox River Grove IL), and individual collections and mini-museums. A list of museums and collections can be found via a tab at the top of the “Other Resources” page. We have created a submission form for information regarding museums and collections, but we will NOT publish information about private collections, or contact information about them, without the express consent of the individual collector. You can find out about these resources by visiting the "Museums, etc." page via a link at the top of this page. Please visit this site regularly; it will be our primary means of communicating to people interested in the sport of ski jumping - past, present, and future - throughout the United States. We invite you to join us as a member. Click the Membership link in the navigation bar above. Our immediate goal is to identify and engage as many people as we can who are interested in the preservation of the history and heritage of ski jumping … so we’re offering FREE memberships!
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The American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum
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