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Magnus Bakke

Hall of Fame Class of 1972

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Magnus Bakke was a well-known nordic and ski jumping promoter and builder. He also kept himself involved in coaching and officiating and held an interest i the youngsters.

Magnus Bakke was born in Lyngdahl, Norway in 1899 and is three years older than his equally famous brother, Hermod. Magnus was trained in cross-country and ski jumping as well as Biathlon as a youngster which played a major role in his life in the United States.

Crossing the Atlantic on the Norwegian ship, Helligolav, Magnus immigrated to the United States in 1923. He first settled in Minnesota and later mover to South Dakota, then to North Dakota where he married Inga Mork on December 1, 1928. In 1930 Magnus moved on to Seattle in Wenatchee, Washington, stayed there for two years. Then he finally established himself in Leavenworth in 1934, remaining there permanently. He worked for the United States Forest Service (beginning in 1932) as a laborer on construction and maintenance of Forest Service Roads and Trails. He was superintendent on all road maintenance and construction in the Wenatchee National Forest when he retired in 1965.

While living in Leavenworth, he and Hermod were instrumental in building and promoting the internationally famous Leavenworth 90-meter jumping hill, now named “Bakke Hill” in honor of Magnus and Hermod Bakke. Magnus not only donated his engineering skills and labor to construction of the hill but spent years coaching youngsters in the Leavenworth Ski Club.

Magnus coached jumping and cross-country teams for 39 years and was certified as a cross-country official and jumping judge in 1938. He judged many national and international meets in the United States and Canada, including cross-country start and finish, biathlon and a a ski jump measurer at the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley.

When Magnus retired he was employed as the trail and slope engineers for the Mission Ridge Ski Area in Wenatchee. He designed and built 18-meter and 30-meter jumping hills at Mission Ridge and conducted junior jumping programs on these hills.

Magnus Bakke, a most influential man in Pacific Northwest skiing for so many years, continued to build on his fine skiing record by remaining very active in the skiing programs in the Leavenworth area. He also kept active in the affairs of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association and the United States Ski Association.

Magnus Bakke was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, along with his brother, Hermod, in 1972.

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