A Look Back: World class competition in Dillon
Special to the Daily
The town of Dillon was the site of a world-class ski jumping event on its ski hill March 8 and 9, 1919. A group of ski savvy Norwegians built a ski hill in Dillon in the area of Dillon Reservoir, which is now off Dillon Dam Road. The group included Peter Prestrud, Anders Haugen and Eyvin Flood, the postmaster at Frisco.
Dillon Winter Sports Club sponsored the event, which attracted quite a crowd that gathered on the hill to watch Anders Haugen make a world record jump of 213 feet. He would surpass this record with a jump of 214 feet the following year at Dillon. This record would stand until 1932.
Anders went on to compete in the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, where he was the captain of the first U.S. ski team to enter Olympic competition. He earned a bronze medal, but ironically due to a scoring error he would not receive the medal for another 50 years – at the age of 86.
Anders also competed in the 1928 Winter Olympics at St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Anders was born in Oslo, Norway, Oct. 24, 1888. He and his younger brother Lars emigrated to America in 1908; they first settled in Milwaukee. The brothers participated in the Milwaukee Ski Club and built a ski jumping hill there open to the public.
Between 1910 and 1920 the brothers competed in U.S. National Ski Jumping Championships, where Lars won the event seven times and Anders was the champion four times.
After calling Dillon their home for a number of years, Lars and Anders moved to Lake Tahoe, Calif., in 1929, where Anders developed the Lake Tahoe Ski Club. He directed the junior ski program at Lake Tahoe well into his 70s.
Anders Haugen was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1978.
Anders died 14 April 1984 in San Bernardino, Calif. He remains the only American to win an Olympic medal for ski jumping to this date.
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