Carl Howelsen (1877-1955)
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“The Flying Norseman”
Father of Skiing in Colorado
Born in Oslo, Norway, Carl Howelsen was a ski jumping champion in the making. In 1905, Howelsen left Norway for America where he became a stonemason in Chicago. There he was discovered by Barnum & Bailey Circus and became a star attraction jumping over 80 feet in the "Greatest Show on Earth."
Howelsen eventually found his way to Colorado participating in jumping exhibitions. In 1913, Steamboat Springs resident, Marjorie Perry, discovered the jumping Norwegian and invited him to come to Steamboat Springs.
Upon his arrival in town, Howelsen organized the first Winter Carnival and founded the ski club that is now the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The club has since become a nationally-known premier ski training organization.
Howelsen’s greatest legacy, however, is ski jumping. Howelsen built the first ski jump at the Howelsen Hill ski area, set national ski jumping records and started the contagious and enduring enthusiasm for recreational and competitive skiing and ski jumping that has become the hallmark of “Ski Town USA.”