Nansen Ski JumpView from the bottom of the hill. Photo: Andrew Laverdiere © Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 15 August 2019
According to a historical sign on site, “Named for Fridjof Nansen, the Greenland explorer. Berlin’s first ski club formed in 1872. The club sponsored the “Big Nansen” constructed in 1936 -38 by the National Youth Administration and the City of Berlin. At the time, it was possibly the tallest steel-tower ski jump in the world, standing 171 feet high. The first jumper Clarence “Spike” Oleson in 1937. In 1938, the Olympic trials were held here. Four times Milan hosted the United States Ski Jumping National Championships: 1940, ’57, ’65, ’72.”
The architect of the ski jump was John Barnard Nichol, a resident of neighboring Berlin.
In 1988, after a fatality, the facility was shut down. In November 2011, a historical marker was placed to commemorate this ski jump. Over time the ski jump evolved into a state of disrepair. In 2015, brush clearing work was started as Phase 1 toward a goal of restoring the site so visitors can view it as it once was. The state of New Hampshire owns and manages the jumping facility as a state park. As of January 2019, the state has agreed to allow the Friends of Big Nansen to continue renovations of the jump and to hold ski jumping and other events at the site.
In 2016 and 2017, repairs to the ski jump’s decking were made by Knollstone Contracting of Bow, New Hampshire, in preparation for a celebratory jump by Olympian Sarah Hendrickson, which occurred early in the morning of March 4, 2017.
In February 2019 it was announced that plans were underway to return competition ski jumping to the jump, hopefully in 2020.
Plaque on site.
The Berlin Daily Sun, November 8, 2011, "Historical marker dedicated at Nansen Ski Jump," accessed August 19, 2019.
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on August 18, 2019.
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