Olympians land into Ski Jumping Hall of Fame
RED WING — Courage. Confidence. Character. These are the attributes that make ski jumping athletes stand out to coach and three-time Olympic competitor Alan Alborn.
He was among the coaches, athletes and contributors in attendance at the 2018 American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame induction ceremony Aug. 4 at the St. James Hotel.
The American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum was started by the late Jerry Borgen in 2007 and is located on the hotel mezzanine.
This year, nine members were inducted, four of whom competed in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
According to the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame website, inductees are athletes who have represented the U.S. on an Olympic team, an FIS World Championship team, won national championships, or have set American distance records.
They will be memorialized next to the many Nordic skiers who have made the sport significant and world-renown since its introduction to America in the 1800s. The Hall of Fame and Museum is located in downtown Red Wing, as the community had a big role in bringing the sport to the United States.
Norwegian settlers in the area during the 1880s developed the "Red Wing Style" and hosted tournaments to such a degree that the city is recognized as "the birthplace of American Ski Jumping."
One of the inductees present was Kevin Bickner, a 21-year old from the Chicago area.
Bickner started ski jumping at 9 years old and competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
For Bickner, to compete at this level was "a childhood dream for so many years."
"I'm pretty stoked with how good I did over there," Bickner said.
Members of the United States Ski Jumping team were recognized at the Saturday ceremony and several of them had been inducted into the Hall of Fame in previous years.
Among the attendees was five-time Olympian Billy Demong. who won the first gold medal in Nordic Skiing for the United States in 2010 and is now the executive director of USA Nordic.
Demong started USA Nordic 10 years ago and has since been working closely with Mayo Clinic on the health and performance of the athletes. After the ceremony, the team spent Monday and Tuesday doing tests in Minneapolis to provide the hospital with data on overall athlete health.
The 2018 American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame Inductees were, Korey Arneson, Kevin Bickner, Doug Dion, Ernest Dion, Michael Glasder, Hans Hansen, Casey Larson, Mark Levasseur, and Abby Ringquist.