Forest Snow

The Jump

The Sleeping Giant
Building a Ski Jump

The Nansen Ski Jump

"The Big Nansen" ski jump was built from 1936 to 1937 through the efforts of Alf Halvorson, the Nansen Ski Club, the City of Berlin and the muscle of President Roosevelt's "Work Progress Administration" - an agency that provided work for young Americans in the mid-to-late 1930's. At 171.5 feet, the jump stood as the largest steel tower at the time in the United States. The very first Olympic tryouts were held at the site in 1938 followed by the FIS World Championships in 1939, which attracted 25,000 spectators and was broadcasted across the nation on 87 radio stations. The jump hosted four U.S. National Ski Jumping Championships over the course of its first phase of activity, with its last jumping event taking place in March of 1985. Disuse since 1988 led to the jump and landing becoming obscured by brush and trees, earning it the moniker of "The Sleeping Giant."

Fast-forward 30 years, where the work and effort of the "Friends of Nansen Ski Jump," a local group who refused to see the jump fade away, joined forces with the State of New Hampshire to work to salvage it. The effort was noticed by former World Champion ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson, who had local roots and was returning to the sport after a serious knee injury in 2015. She convinced her sponsor, Red Bull Energy Drink, to join the effort in bringing the jump back to life. Between the resources of the State of New Hampshire, Red Bull and the Friends of Nansen, a total re-decking of the jump was completed in time for the morning of March 4th, 2017 when Sarah and the Sleeping Giant both returned to action in one single jump.

With enthusiasm mounting to see the Big Nansen used in competition, plans accelerated to restore the site to contemporary standards designated by the International Ski Federation (FIS). In 2019 the jump was added to the National Register of Historic Places and a $250k grant was procured through the Northern Border Regional Commission. In 2020, Scott Halvorson, a key force in ongoing restoration efforts (and grandson of Alf Halvorson), was acknowledged by USA Nordic with their Ptarmigan Award for his work in bringing the Nansen Ski Jump back online and for fostering connection with the jumping community of the United States. Restoration designs have been completed and additional fundraising is underway with the aim of a sanctioned jumping event in 2022. If you wish to help us bring ski jumping back to the North Country, please consider donating.

Help us wake "The Sleeping Giant"

 

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