Winter Olympics 2002 Winter Olympics 2002


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: Mike Hewitt/Allsport

The legendary Norwegian nordic athlete and “father of skiing,” Sondre Nordheim, took the first officially measured ski jump in 1860. The first ski jumping competition was held in Trysil, Norway, in 1862.

1887: Norwegian emigrant Mikkel Hemmestvedt of Red Wing, Minn., wins the first ski jumping meet held in the United States. The event takes place after Mikkel and his brother Torjus gain statewide fame with jumping exhibitions during the 1880s.

1900s: Norwegian ski jumper Karl Howelsen performs at the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus, which calls his program ski sailing.

1964: The normal hill competition is added at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck, where Norwegians and their rivals from Finland share six medals.

1972: Japan uses a hometown advantage to sweep the podium in the individual normal hill event at the Sapporo-Miyanomori Winter Games. Yukio Kasaya leads the trio, nicknamed the “Rising Sun Flyers.” The country had won a total of one medal in the Winter Olympics.

1985: Swedish jumper Jan Boklov begins spreading the tips of his skis into a V shape. Critics laugh at him and judges deduct points from his score. But wind tunnel tests find that the V provides 28 percent more lift than the traditional parallel style.

1988: The team competition makes its Olympic debut, with Finland capturing the gold. Finland's Matti Nykanen wins three gold medals in ski jumping events.

1989: Boklov wins the World Cup, and ski jumpers adopt the V style en masse.

1992: Finland phenom Toni Nieminen, 16, wins two gold medals in the team and large hill events and a bronze in the normal hill.

1998: Japan captures the team gold during the country's Nagano Games.