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Data | History | Hill records | Map | Photo gallery | Comments


Empire Stadium’s Ski Jump:

K-Point: 40 m
Men Winter Hill record: 47.9 m (157 ft) (Juhani Kärkinen FIN, 1958-05-02)
Further jumps: no
Plastic matting: no
Year of construction: 1958
Status: destroyed
Coordinates: 49.283381, -123.033411 Google Maps OpenStreetMap

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Altough there were several shortly existing smaller ski jumps in 1950’s, there should be a big sensation in Canadian Vancouver in April 1958: A 50 m high inrun tower was constructed within two weeks at the northern side of Empire Stadium. More than 22 km of scaffold steel pipes were used for the montage of the ski jumping hill construction for the “Centennial Invitational Tournament” and local newspapers called the building the largest handmade temporary ski jumping hill of the world. It had a 12 m wide and 27 m high landing hill and two machines shredded hundreds of around 135 kilos heavy ice blocks in only 8 seconds into small sharp ice corns. By tubes these ice crystals were blown as a white stream on inrun and outrun, which ended on the southern end of the 100 m long football field. To improve the durability of the snow it was additionally treated with chemicals, because the event should last three days long.
The very attractive field of participants with the best American and Canadian ski jumpers was crowned with the participation of Japan’s Akio Kasaya and both Finnish jumpers Juhani Kärkinen and Ensio Hyytiä – World Champion and Vice World Champion of the year 1958. The evening events started with jumps of local sportsmen, who were dressed as clowns or with graced clothes and performed a carnival show. They jumped down the hill backwards; somersaults and daring jumps with shortened only one meter long skis were performed. The jumps of professional skiers were announced by French horns and drums and there were lots of fallen jumps, too. The final staring of the event was Kärkinen, who won two of the four competitions and gained the overall championship prize. The event was attended by 25,000 spectators inside the stadium, regardless the organisers were economically in the red, because every day more than 20,000 non-paying spectators were sitting outside the stadium on the higher situated areas on the east. Inside there cars on the hillside road, on camping chairs and wooden boxes, partly with binoculars, they watched the spectacle which should later never be repeated in this way.

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