- Sondre Norheim
Sondre Norheim, born Sondre Auverson, (
June 10, 1825– March 9, 1897) was a Norwegian skier and pioneer of modern skiing.
Born at Øverbø and raised in
Morgedalin the municipality of Kviteseidin Telemark, he took to downhill skiingas a recreational activity, rising to local fame for his skills. He made important innovations in skiing technology by designing new equipment, such as different bindings and shorter skis with curved sides to facilitate turns. In 1868 he won the first national skiing competition in Christiania, beating his younger competitors by a large margin. His reputation grew, and eventually made Norwegian words like skiand slalomknown worldwide. Sondre Norheim is also known as the father of Telemark skiing.
In 1884, Sondre followed in the footsteps of many of his neighbors in Morgedal and emigrated to the
United Stateswith most of his family. After having first settled in Minnesota, they moved to North Dakota, near Villard in McHenry County. He continued to ski when he could, though the climate and flat topography of the Dakota prairie offered few opportunities for downhill skiing. It was said he always had a pair of skis placed outside his door.
Sondre grew more religious with age and helped build a
Lutheranchurch in Villard. He died in 1897 and was buried in Denbigh, North Dakota. His grave was unmarked until recently, but a memorial stone now marks its spot.
* [http://www.sondrenorheim.com/sondre.htm Biography]
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