Posted 5:58 PM, February 6, 2020, by Mike Ewing, Updated at 06:10PM, February 6, 2020
FOX RIVER GROVE, Ill. — A giant ski jump peeks over the trees in Fox River Grove, the highest of several runs at the volunteer-run Norge Ski Club. Dating back to the early 1900s, the club works to promote the sport of ski jumping and now counts multiple Olympians among its members. Here’s their story — in their own words.
Scott Smith, Norge Ski Club
Ski jumping first came to the United States in 1887. The first ski jump ever in our country was up in Red Wing, Minnesota, then it just grew from there to different places all over. The Midwest has the most jumps, but then it expanded out west and out east.
Three Norwegians came over and started our ski club here in 1905. They used to go maybe a hundred feet, where now we go, you know, close to 250 feet.
You go over to Europe, ski jumping over there is like baseball and football over here. Back in the day, thousands of people used to come out from the city. They did ski jumps at Soldier Field, and Wrigley Field in 1949.