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
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
Annual ASJ Hall of Fame Banquet Sat Aug 20, 2022
We’re looking forward to another get-together to honor inductees into our American Ski Jumping
Hall of Fame on Aug 20. It will be held at the Red Wing Golf Course, 1311 W 6th Street in Red
Wing, MN. Golf will begin at 12 noon, a shotgun start. Social hour will be at 5 pm and Banquet
at 6 pm. Cost is $40 for golf only, $40 for banquet only, $80 for both.
2022 American Ski Jumping HOF Inductees Announced
There are eight names comprising the ASJ HOF induction clas of 2022. As in the past, some have
been athletes, others have been contributors to the sport in other roles. The names are listed below;
their bio information is not yet ready to publish.