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Olav Ulland

Hall of Fame Class of 1981

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Gustav Raaum.

Olav Ulland’s volunteer contributions to skisport and his active participation for more than fifty years mark him among the top sports builders in North America. His influence started in Norway where he ended up as one of the finest ski jumpers of his time: placing 5th in the World Championships, setting a world record in Holmenkollen and winning many international competitions in Europe. Olav Ulland was the first jumper in the world to jump over 100 meters – that was in 1935 – when different clothing, equipment, diet and financing was used.

Olav Ulland’s versatility as a sportsman is documented in his results as Nordic Combined Champion of Czechoslovakia and the Four-Way Combined Champion of France.

Olav coached the Italian ski jumping team in the 1936 Olympic Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Coming to the United States in 1937 and as a jumping coach for Seattle Ski Club and Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, he continued to compete around the United States and Canada. At 52 years of age, he won the Veterans’ Class at Leavenworth, Washington.

Olav helped organize many tournaments around the Seattle area, including National Championships and the Olympic try-outs. He was also the Chief of Competition for ski jumping in the 1960 Olympic Games at Squaw Valley. Ulland was jumping coach for the U.S. Team in the Winter Olympic Games in Cortina, Italy in 1956 and the World Championships in Lahti, Finland in 1958.

Olav was president of Seattle Ski Club, founder and president of Kongsberger Ski Club and served on many committees of PNSA and USSA.

Olav became an F.I.S. jumping judge and subsequently judged at numerous international, national, divisional and local competitions. He was also a founding member of Ski Industry of America.

Ulland received many awards recognizing his outstanding, long and unselfish service to skisport, including the USSA Blegen Award and PNSIA Award and he was elected to Washington State Sports Hall of Fame.

Olav Ulland’s service to skiing spanned many years and included being an official at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid.

Olav lived with his wife, Ruth, in Bellevue, Washington. His daughter, Krista, is a school teacher and his son, Hans, graduated from the University of Puget Sound.

Olav Ulland was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1981.

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