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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
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 more!
Welcome to American Ski Jumping … Past, Present, and Future
2018 ASJ HOF Induction Held Aug 4 in Red Wing
Scroll down page for LINKS to full program video and newspaper feature
Nine new names were added to the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame at our annual induction
banquet, held at the St James Hotel in Red Wing MN on Saturday, August 4. The ASJ museum is
located on the mezzanine level of the hotel, and many visitors dropped in prior to the banquet.
“De Facto” inductees are athletes that have represented the US by being selected to an Olympic
team, an FIS World Championship team, who have won national championships, or have set
American distance records. These can be athletes still actively competing; we will work with
them to bring their online biographies up to date during their career until they retire. Four athletes
achieved that status this year; as members of the US Olympic Team that competed in Pyeong
Chang; Kevin Bickner, Michael Glasder, Casey Larson, and Abby Ringquist.
Selected via the traditional nomination process were Korey Arneson, Doug Dion, Ernest Dion,
Hans Hansen, and Mark Levasseur. Some have made their mark as athletes, others by their
contributions to the sport, such as coaching, judging, volunteering in a variety of significant roles.
Congratulations to this year’s inductees and to their families, friends, and home clubs. And thanks
also to all who submitted nominations!
A group of USA Nordic’s top male and female ski jumpers were in attendance!
In addition to those four “de facto” inductees, the group included:
ATHLETES: Sarah Hendrickson, Nita Englund (both previous inductees), Tara Geraghty-Moats,
Logan Sankey, Samantha Macuga, Taylor Fletcher, Jared Shumate, Grant Andrews,
COACHES: Blake Hughes, Alan Alborn, Bill Demong, Uros “Balki” Vrhovec.
YOU-TUBE VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE PROGRAM RUNS JUST UNDER AN HOUR
Many thanks to Alan Alborn of USA Nordic for capturing the ceremony on video!
Here are some time points in the video to help you find particular parts of the program:
5:00 - Bill Demong introduces team athletes, 13:40 - Lyle Boucher introduces 2018 Olympians followed
by their comments: 21:20 Mike Glasder, 22:45 Abby Ringquist, 23:25 Casey Larson, 24:00 Kevin Bickner.
23:45 - Lyle speaks about the late Jerry Borgen of Red Wing, a founder and key member of Friends of
American Ski Jumping, who passed away last month. 27:00 - Explanation of immediate inclusion of
“de facto” inductees, with bio info to be completed when they retire from competition.
Presentation of Inductees:
27:50 - Korey Arneson (posthumously), accepted by his son Christian
30:40 - Doug Dion, accepted in person
38:00 - Ernest Dion, (posthumously), accepted by son Doug
41:30 - Hans Hansen (posthumously), accepted by grandson Steve Reid
47:30 - Mark Levasseur, accepted in person
57:20 - Closing remarks, Lyle
RED WING REPUBLICAN-EAGLE NEWS FEATURE - READ ARTICLE
AMERICAN SKI JUMPING RECORDS - HISTORICAL TRIVIA:
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) and 148 (Switzerland) were set in
the 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.