The great Sondre Norheim was a Norwegian skier and pioneer of modern skiing. His life began on June 10, 1825, in a little town called Morgedal, Telemark. At the time there were only a small number of people living in this Southern Norway village – 500 people. With a restless and dreaming nature, he was destined to stand out from the crowd!
Sondre Norheim and His Restless, Dreaming Nature
The Perfect Craftsman
Fun was what Sondre Norheim lived for and being on the crazy man’s slopes was the most fun he could have as he never hesitated to experiment creatively with the challenging terrain. He never backed down from a challenge as challenges usually led to greatness. Morgedal.com states that, “to navigate between the trees and cliffs with high speed, the skis had to be attached tighter to the foot and he determined that a ski with slightly curved sides would be easier to turn, so something had to be done”. Luckily, he was a versatile craftsman who was able to create the equipment he needed so that he could adjust and develop new turning techniques and styles.
Sondre Norheim – A Man Known by Nations
And Here’s Where the Fame Kicked In
In a blink of an eye, Sondre Norheim was famous and known by many. With no desire to look back, the dreamer became his ultimate self. The man who we’d later dub The Father of Modern Skiing. At the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Sondre Norheim was honoured during opening ceremonies. It did not stop there as this was only the beginning of his fame with the crowd. He was also honoured at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California and at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. While being well-known by the nations it was astounding to know that when Sondre died his grave was originally unmarked, but a memorial stone now marks its spot.
You can’t deny that his story is of movie-making stature and that’s what he received. In 1970, NRK produced the documentary The history of Sondre Norheim, the Father of Modern Ski Sport. His next great accomplishment was in 1984 when he was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame as the first class of inductees. He continued to show his importance in the history of skiing, as a statue of him was sculpted by Norwegian sculptor Knut Skinnarland. It was unveiled in 1987 in the Scandinavian Heritage Park, in Minot, North Dakota and during 1988.
An identical statue unveiled in 1993 was the Sondre Norheim Eternal Flame Monument