Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project
Tacoma News Tribune -
Northwest Ski Club Tournaments
In addition to the dates listed below, I searched for tournament
news around the following dates without finding any: 5 July
1924, 12 July 1924, 28 June 1925 and 5 July 1925.
All Tacoma News Tribune issues were reviewed on microfilm at
"Plans are being laid for a genuine Norwegian ski jumping
tournament to be staged in the near future near Paradise Inn on
Mount Tacoma. Thor Bisgaard, prominent member of the Tacoma
Mountaineers, and who has much experience in ski jumping both in
this country and in Norway, has just returned from the Paradise
Inn where he arranged matters for the tourney with Mr. Martin,
the proprietor." The article mentions that a tournament was held
at Scenic the previous February, but the conditions were not the
"Experts declare that Mount Tacoma has ideal places for
The article includes a photo of 20-year-old Miss Olga Bolstad,
"the most sensational lady ski-jumper in the Northwest." She
stands on skis holding a single pole and wearing a competitor's
bib with number 4 on it. "Miss Bolstad first sprang into the
limelight at Scenic last winter. While the big ski tournament
was taking place there she appeared and asked for a pair of skis.
Although an unknown when she arrived, she speedily became the
most talked-of person in the tourney, owing to her sensational
jumping. She just missed taking first honors from the best of
the men competitors."
Note: In a 5/3/2017 email, Kirby Gilbert said research
during a trip to Norway found Olga Marie Bolstad's birthdate to
be 6 September 1892. That means she was 24 years old at the
time of the Mt Rainier ski tournament, not 20. Kirby found a
notice in the June 7, 1919 Seattle Times indicating that she
filed for a marriage license with Ottar Eggan (possibly Eggen).
Kirby also located a Washington death certificate indicating
that she died on August 21, 1919 at the young age of 26. Neither
Kirby nor I have searched deeper to determine the cause of
death. (L. Skoog, 1/24/2018)
"A feature of the skiing will be the opportunity offered beginners
to try their luck at the Scandinavian sport. It is expected quite a
fiew neophytes will take their [first lessons?] tommorow."
"Although summer ski tourneys are common events in the
Scandinavian countries, they are something new in this part of
the country, and the jumping has aroused a great deal of
interest. Should this year's tourney prove a success--and it is
almost certain that it will--it is to become an annual summer
feature at Paradise park and will serve as an unusual
advertisement for both the mountain and Tacoma." The article
names several of the competiors and describes Miss Olga Bolstad as
"champion of the Pacific coast on skis."
The article includes a fine drawing by Y. Sonnichsen of the tournament
scene at Camp of the Clouds, with the mountains, the crowd, the Paradise
Inn and a ski jumper in flight. It looks like a wood block carving. (In a
3/8/2010 email, Christine Anderson of the Sons of Norway said that the
artist was probably Yngvar Sonnichsen. His brother S. Engelhard
Sonnichsen was the architect for Norway Hall in Seattle.)
The results are unclear, but the article says, "Probably Olga Bolstad,
the pretty Seattle girl, was the greatest center of attraction among all
the ski jumpers. Her lightness and grace made her a favorite with all, and
she seemed to skim through the air like a bird." The article continues:
"The girl champion has been made an honorary, lifelong member of the Puget
Sound Ski club, which has been formed by Messrs. Overn, Berg and Bisgaard
of Tacoma, and Messrs. Gjolme and Sonnichsen of Seattle.
NOTE: A short article in the July 30, 1917 Tacoma Times says that
Olga Bolstad won the first skiing tournement ever held on Mt Rainier with a
jump of 36 feet. More than 300 spectators witnessed the event. "Jumps were
made following a 100-yard start down Alta Vista, and ended with a slide of
several hundred yards towards Paradise Inn." (A copy of the article was sent
to me by Suzy Cyr and is filed in my photo collection under her name.)
A crew has been working on the ski jump and practice jumps of 70
to 80 feet have been made. "The slide is situated on the eastern
or right hand slope of Alta Vista, as one faces the mountain from
Paradise Inn. There is a long incline on this side and half way
down the slope is a natural ledge that permits a long leap to the
S. Johnson of Tacoma beat 14 competitors with jumps of 67 and
68 feet. A. Flagstad of Seattle was second and Hilmar Nelsen of
Tacoma third. Miss Olga Bolstad finished fourth. The article
confirms that Miss Bolstad won the title in 1917. The longest
jump (83 feet) was made by J.G. Hansen of Tacoma, but he fell.
The organizers have determined to make the tournament an annual
classic. "For the benefit of ski enthusiasts, the committee in
charge will send to Norway for 20 pairs of first class skis which
will be kept at Paradise Inn. This probably means that many new
ski experts will be developed in this country."
The article says that several hundred people left Saturday afternoon
in automobiles for the third annual tournament, which is now put on
by the Northwestern Ski Club.
This obscure article says at least 1,500 people watched the
jumping on Sunday. S. Johnson of Tacoma won again, with jumps of
95 and 100 feet. Hilmar Nelson of Tacoma was second. John Holen
of Tacoma had the longest standing jump, 113 feet. A crew from
Goldwyn Studios was making a film of "Silver Horde" on the scene
and some of the spectators got into the picture.
The article lists 13 competitors entered. It clarifies that "S.
Johnson," the 1918 and 1919 champion, is Sigurd Johnson. Nels
Nelsen of Revelstoke, B.C., the Canadian amateur champion, is
favored to win. L. Larsen is listed as the champion of Grays
Harbor, suggesting that jumping meets were also being held west
of Puget Sound. (Note: In this and later stories, the sponsoring
organization is referred to as the Northwest Ski Club.)
L. Larsen of Grays Harbor won the tournament with the longest
jump of 95 feet and a jump of 88 feet scored for both style and
distance. The article says that Chris Bakken won "first prize
among the other jumpers," which doesn't make a lot of sense.
Sigurd Johnson of Tacoma and L. Larson of Aberdeen jumped 126
feet, a new distance mark. The scoring was somewhat confusing,
since "first prize in distance went to Johnson, second to Larson"
while "the extra prize for the longest standing jump was won by
Larson." (I think the former prize was for style and distance
combined.) Larson won the Paradise cup, given by the Rainier
National Park Company, for the second year in a row. I think
Johnson was awarded the Northwest Ski Club championship.
The article says that sixteen amateurs and two professionals are
entered in the meet and jumps are expected to average over 100
feet. The course is said to be in bad condition, due to fast
melting of the snow, but crews with shovels are keeping it usable
for the jumpers. I was not able to find the results for this
tournament in the following days.
The tournament has become an Independence Day event. There is a
photo of Isabel Coursier, "16-year-old feminine champion of the
world," from Revelstoke, B.C. The 1923 course has been built near
the Paradise Inn so that jumps may be seen from the hotel. A
five-mile cross-country ski race is scheduled for July 3, with
the annual ski ball that evening, followed by the championship
jump the morning of July 4. The article says that Chris Bakken
of Centralia won the race last year in 27 minutes, 28 seconds.
Hans Otto Giese of Freiberg, Germany, "who took second place in
the German Olympic ski race two years ago," is entered in this
This article describes the social scene and names guests
registered at Paradise Inn. It says the cross-country race is
four miles long.
1,500 people viewed the ski jumping tournament. Ivind Nelson of
Revelstoke, B.C. won the championship with a jump of 124 feet.
This broke the record he established in 1922, when he won with a
jump of 86 feet. Ivind Nelson's brother Nels ("amateur ski
champion of the world") made a jump of 143 feet. However, "this
jump did not count becase Nelson touched his hands to the skis
during the flight." Chris Bakken won the four-mile cross-country
race on Tuesday with a time of 19 minutes. Allan Granstrom was
second and Hans Otto Giese third.
Copyright © 2002 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Mon, Feb 22, 2021 2:10:50 PM