Paul Bietila (deceased)
Year Inducted: 1970
Born: February 28,1918, Ishpeming, MI
Died: February 26, 1939, St. Paul, MN
Paul Bietila was the fourth son in the famous Bietila family that brought fame to their native Ishpeming and earned the name "The Flying Bietilas". At the age of 12 he set a national junior record of 185 feet. In 1938 he finished third behind the famous Ruud brothers of Norway at the national championships. He was also national intercollegiate champion that year. On February 5, 1939 he was injured in a practice jump in St. Paul, Minnesota at the national championships and died three weeks later. Recognized as the best American ski jumper of his time, the Paul Bietila Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the top American jumper at the national championships.