Ole R. Mangseth
Hall of Fame Class of 1968
Ole R. Mangseth developed his ski jumping ability in his native Norway and brought that ability to the United States where he is remembered as a great jumper, devoted to his sport and an encourager of ski jumpers.
Ole R. Mangseth was born in Elverum, Norway on March 2, 1878. He immigrated to the United States when he was a young man and settled in the Midwest.
Ole became one of America’s top flight ski jumpers in the early 1900s, the pioneering days of the National Ski Association. Although Ole never did win a National title, this does not distract from his skiing ability for he was ranked among the top five jumpers in the country for several, years.
In 1905 Ole Mangseth represented the Frederick, Wisconsin Ski Club (his first affiliation) and from 1906 to 1909 he represented the Aurora Ski Club at Red Wing, Minnesota. He was also a member of the Duluth Club. Settling in Coleraine, Minnesota in 1909, Ole joined the Coleraine Ski Club. He resided in Coleraine for the remainder of his life.
Ole was a true ski pioneer and accomplished great work in initiation of the Art of Ski Jumping in Coleraine and many of the clubs in Northern Minnesota where he competed as a young man. Ole Mangseth set a National distance record of 114 feet in 1907 and he placed in the top four in the National Tournaments of 1905, 1906, 1909 and 1910.
Ole was also an ardent worker in developing young skiers in the Itaska Ski and Outing Club at Coleraine, including his two sons, Ronald and Rolf, past National Boy Ski Jumping Champions, and perhaps his most widely known protégé, Eugene Wilson, also of Coleraine. In tribute to his former coach, Wilson wrote:
“Ole Mangseth was a close personal friend and one of the finest ski coaches and builders I have had the pleasure of knowing. When I was ten, Ole took an interest in me and other boys my age and spent hours training us to perfect our timing, style, and most importantly our desire to do just a little bit better. His philosophy was to always strive for first place, not second or third – be a winner not only a great champion, but much more than that, be a credit to your club, community, and your country. I truly believe that if it were not for Ole Mangseth and his philosophy and coaching, I would have never made the 1950 F.I.S. Team. I remember what he instilled in me.”
Mangseth served the National Ski Association as its treasurer from 1925 through 1928 and he worked in various capacities for the National Ski Association and later the United States Ski Association, for a total of forty-eight consecutive years, a true proclamation of his sincerity and devotion to the sport of skiing in his adopted country.
He died in Coleraine, Minnesota on September 24, 1952 at the age of seventy-four.
Ole R. Mangseth was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1968.
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