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Anders Haugen

Hall of Fame Class of 1963

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Anders Haugen grew up on skis and was as excellent competitive jumper in his native Norway. In 1909 he followed three siblings to the United States, settling first in Criston, Illinois and later in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he jumped for the Milwaukee Ski Club. He was named to the 1924 and 1928 US Winter Olympic Teams. He is the only American to win a ski jumping medal at the Olympic Games.

Anders Haugen was born in Oslo, Norway on October 12, 1888 and like every Norwegian youngster, was on skis as soon as he could stand up, using them not only for recreation but also to go to the Market of travel back and forth to school. He stated the he “grew up on skis”. He began jumping early in his youth and was an excellent jumping competitor in his native country.

In 1909, at age 19, Haugen decided to immigrate to the United States to join his two brothers and a sister who had come a few years earlier. He settled in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, promptly joined the Milwaukee Ski Club and began a distinguished career in competition in the United States.

In 1910 the Milwaukee Ski Club built a jumping slide at Lake Nagawicka. Undoubtedly, Haugen’s outstanding ability had considerable effect on prompting the club to do so. The first competition was held January 2, 1913 and Haugen won that event. The Milwaukee Ski Club voted him an honorary lifetime membership.

In 1924, Haugen was named to the U.S. Ski Jumping Team which was to compete at the first Olympic Winter Games in France. He was also the team captain. Haugen had the longest jump in the Special Jumping event but a miscalculation by the judges left him in 4th place.

Fifty years later, in 1974, the error in computation was discovered and it was determined the Haugen should have received the bronze medal instead of Thorleif Haug, the man originally awarded the medal. The Norwegian government brought Haugen with a small delegation, to Norway where he was awarded the medal by Haug’s daughter, Anne Marie Haug Magnussen, thus rectifying the error. The International Olympic Committee refused to recognize the change at the time but eventually accepted him as the bronze medal winner.

In 1929 Haugen and his brother, Lars, moved to California where he helped organize the Lake Tahoe Ski Club and coached its ski programs. He continued to direct junior skiing programs well into his seventies. At age 91 he still skied in the San Bernardino Mountains near Yucipa, California, where he lived.

Anders Haugen, America’s first Winter Olympic medal winner and four-time U.S. National Jumping Champion was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of fame in 1963 along with his brother, Lars Haugen.

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