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Anders Haugen’s belated bronze medal

on 2006-01-05

The story of U.S. American ski jumper Anders Haugen, who became Olympic Medal Winner 50 years too late

In 1924 the first Olympic Winter Games took place in French Chamonix and Thorleif Haug from Norway had winning two medals, the Gold in the Nordic Combined and bronze in the ski jumping behind his compatriots Thams and Bonna.

But in 1974, long after Haug’s death, there was an amendment from a Norwegian ski historian. He noticed that there was an error in calculating the score of the event and the fourth Anders Haugen had actually 0.095 points more than Haug. The Olympic Committee verified this proposal and Haug was demoted to fourth place. In Oslo on September 1974, fifty years later, at the age of eighty-three, Anders Haugen got the bronze medal from Haug’s daughter.

But who was Anders Haugen? Born in Norway 1889 he emigrated with his brother and they belong to numerous Scandinavian immigrants, where a lot of them found in Midwest jobs in rising mining. Anders Haugen settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he joined the Ski Club and built a ski jumping hill there in winter in order to open ski jumping to the public of the area.

Brothers Haugen were unusual good ski jumpers, then between 1910 and 1920 they won eleven times the U.S. National Championships. The younger Lars scored seven of these wins but it was Anders who represented the U.S. at the first two Winter Olympics of 1924 and 1928 at St. Moritz. Lars was afforded the opportunity to join the Olympic Team. In 1928 Anders Haugen took place again by Olympic competition in St. Moritz, but it was only place eihgteen.

Worth mentioning are his American records 1911 in Ironwood, Michigan, where he leaped 45.5 Meters and 1920 in Dillon, Colorado, where he achieved 65 Meters. This record resisted even until 1932. When he was already older, nevertheless he skied by ski jumping in stadiums and other show events.

On April 14, 1984, Anders Haugen died and he remains in people’s memories as the only American to win an Olympic medal for ski jumping up until today.


Ski Jumps:

FRA Chamonix (Le Mont)

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