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Ski Jumping In Washington State

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Author: John Lundin

Ski jumping, once Washington’s most popular winter sport, was introduced by Norwegian immigrants in the early twentieth century. It began at Spokane’s Browne’s Mountain and Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill, moved to midsummer tournaments on Mount Rainier in 1917 and expanded statewide as new ski clubs formed. Washington tournaments attracted the world’s best jumpers—Birger and Sigurd Ruud, Alf Engen, Sigurd Ulland and Reidar Andersen, among others. In 1941, Torger Tokle set two national distance records here in just three weeks. Regional ski areas hosted national and international championships as well as Olympic tryouts, entertaining spectators until Leavenworth’s last tournament in 1978. Lawyer, historian and award-winning author John W. Lundin re-creates the excitement of this nearly forgotten ski jumping heritage.

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