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Ski Jumping Book Named Best Ski History Book
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Monday, January 3, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Ketchum historian John Lundin has racked up another award-winning ski book.

Lundin’s book, “Ski Jumping in Washington State: A Nordic Tradition,” has won a Skade Award from the International Ski History Association as outstanding ski history book of 2021. The Skade award is named  for the Norse goddess associated with bow hunting, skiing, winter and mountains.

Lundin will be presented the award at the annual meeting of ISHA, the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame and North American Sports Journalists’ Association in Sun Valley on March 24. The book also will be reviewed in an upcoming edition of “Ski History” magazine published by ISHA.

Lundin said that the book was his attempt to keep memories of ski jumping in North America alive.

“The sport is nearly forgotten these days, even though it was the most popular form of skiing for many decades,” he said.

Indeed, there were more than a million Norwegians living in the United States in 1930 and they used their ski jumping competitions to showcase their culture while generating a sense of belonging in their new country.

Ski jumping was very popular from the 1910s through the 1940s in the Northwest—the Norwegians  even held ski jumping tournaments on July 4th at Mount Rainier’s Paradise Valley between 1917 and 1924.

A ski jump built in Cle Elum, Wash., was said to be one of the most hazardous in the world as it was 6 percent steeper than any in Norway, said Lundin. Tournaments there drew up to 5,000 spectators between 1924 and 1933.

“Ski Jumping in Washington State” was a companion to an exhibit on ski jumping Lundin helped organize this year at the National Nordic Museum and Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum in Seattle. The exhibit is titled “Sublime Sights: Ski Jumping and Nordic America.”

Lundin is working with staff at the Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History on an exhibit on ski jumping in Sun Valley that will open in January. The exhibit is called “Skiers in Flight: Sun Valley’s Ski Jumping Roots.”

WHAT ABOUT THE WOMEN?

Early accounts of ski jumping always involve men, among them the Ruud brothers for whom Sun Valley’s ski jumping hill Ruud Mountain is named.

Indeed, women had to wait 90 years after ski jumping became an Olympic sport before they were allowed to compete at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. But that doesn’t mean they had their feet on the ground all that time.

A Norwegian named Ingri Vestby flew nearly 20 feet at the world’s first public ski jumping event in Trysil, Norway—Norway’s largest ski destination--in 1862. And another Norwegian skier Olga Balstad-Eggen

competed against men in early tournaments at Mount Rainier in 1917. She even took the podium in one of those contests, according to John Lundin.


 

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