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The New Holmenkollen Ski Jump Posted by on Mar 9, 2010 in Culture, Norway and the world, Traditions

A while back, I wrote a post about Holmenkollen, Oslo’s famous ski jumping arena.  Well, it’s about to get more famous and attract lots of international attention next weekend during the World Cup trials.  Just to give you some background information again, the first competition at Holmenkollen was back in January of 1892.  So, that makes the arena 118 years old.  Wow!  In 1923, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum openend, making it the oldest ski museum in the world.  During it’s time as a ski arena, Holmenkollen has hosted 9 different international championships, including the 1952 winter olympics.  Since 1939, the ski jump has been upgraded 15 times.  In 2005, Holmenkollen won 4th place in ‘Oslo’s Structure of the Century’ competition.

So why did Holmenkollen recently experience a 450 million NOK (82 million USD) overhaul if it has been such a great venue in the past?  Standards.  The International Ski Federation said back in 2005 that the old Holmenkollen structure did not meet the standards to award Oslo the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.  The decision in December of 2005 to demolish the current hill (another option was to keep the old hill as an historic monument and build a brand new one) and rebuild makes it clear that Oslo takes ski competitions very seriously and would do just about anything to host the world ski championships in 2011.

After hearing the plans for the redevelopment in May of 2006, FIS awarded Oslo the 2011 FIS Nordic World Championships in 2011.  As mentioned before, next weekend is the 2010 FIS Nordic World Cup, the trials for next year’s championships.  Oslo (Oslo municipality is owner and was in charge of the rebuilding process) and the organizers of VM (World Cup) are, among others, very excited to present the world’s newest ski jump to the public next weekend.  Not only is it now verdens mest moderne skihopp (the world’s most modern ski jump), but “it boasts a world-class feat of engineering,” according to Roy Evensen, Event Manager for Ski-VM 2011.  Most of the new structure consists of stål og betong (steel and concrete), but some of the old struktur was integrated as well, which was a very komplisert (complicated) process.  The new ski jumping hill is very modern and will cater to the athletes, judges, media, and spectators alike.  Just to mention a few highlights, there are new judges, improved snow production facilities, wind protection systems, and an ice track machine, new spectator grandstands, an improved loudspeaker system, and new scoreboard.  Again, that’s just to mention a few noteworthy features.

On February 3, 2010, FIS approved the new ski jump and exactly one month later on March 3, Annette Sagen officially opened the new Holmenkollen ski jump.  However, the day before Sagen jumped, a few male jumpers ”tested” the hill, sparking a big controversy over likestilling (equality).

Some of the comments in an article I read are for example, were men sent out to test the hill to make sure it was safe for women?

Why does a woman have to be the one to ”open” the new facility?

Was any of it even intentional or are we making a huge deal out of nothing?

Click on the this link to see the debate på norsk:

I hope the event next weekend is televised so that we can see the new jump in action!  Exciting!

 

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!