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Holmenkollen ski jump (in Holmenkollen, Oslo) is one of Oslo’s main attractions, one that you will not want to miss. It is host to the world’s second oldest ski jump competitition (that stil exists) and home to the oldest ski musuem in the world. Over 1 million tourists visit the attraction every year. I lived in Norway for 8 months and I visited it at least 5 times. Every time I would have visitors stay with me, I would take them there and I think I visited it a couple times by myself just to walk around and relax. It really is a beautiful place.
The Holmenkollbanen, a railway included in the T-bane system brings visitors to the Holmenkollen station where they get off and walk to the ski jump. If I remember correctly, the ride from Oslo city center to Holmenkollen is about a half and hour long-it’s a pleasant ride. The view is incredible-it overlooks the Oslofjord and the city of Oslo. On a sunny day in the winter, the water from the Oslofjord glitters interacts very nicely with the white snow to produce a very bright and happy glimmer.
The first competition at Holmenkollen was in January of 1892. A crowd of 10,000 was in attendence to watch Svein Sollid win the competition by jumping 21.5 meters. In 1923 the ski museum was opened. The current tower was built in 1939 and since then, the ski jump has been upgraded 15 times. Most of the upgrades occurred during the 1952 Winter Olympics. Holmenkollen has also been host to nearly a dozen other nordic skiing and biathalon world championships.
The Holmenkollen arena is a venue for cross-country skiing, nordic combined (cross-country and ski jumping), and biathalon skiing (cross-country and rifle shooting-one of the most popular sports in Norway). Every year Holmenkollen hosts world cup biathalon competitions. In March every year, Holmenkollen Weekend is an event the features mens 50 km cross-country skiing and the ski jump competition. Before 2011, Holmenkollen will undergo another upgrade to prepare for the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The decision to host this event has been a source of much controversy because the current Holmenkollen does not meet the standards to award the event. Therefore, a lot of expensive changes must be made. If you would like more details about the controversy or about what exactly the changes will be, search for ‘Holmenkollen ski jump controversy’.
If you get a chance to visit Oslo, I highly recommend taking the Tbane up to Holmenkollen to walk around the arena, climb the stairs to nearly the top of the jump, and enjoy the fantastic view overlooking the Oslofjord. It really is incredible. I’m sure it will look just as nice or nicer after the changes are made by 2011.