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Birger Ruud in 1936
|Born||23 August 1911|
|Died||13 June 1998(aged 86)|
Born in Kongsberg, Birger Ruud, with his brothers Sigmund and Asbjørn, dominated international jumping in the 1930s, winning three world championships in 1931, 1935 and 1937. Ruud also won the Olympic gold medal in 1932 and 1936, the first repeat winner of ski jumping gold. He also was an accomplished alpine skier, winning a bronze medal in the combined at the 1935 world championships. Ruud won the Holmenkollen ski jumping competition in 1934 and shared the Holmenkollen medal in 1937 with Olaf Hoffsbakken and Martin P. Vangsli.
In 1943, during the German occupation of Norway, Ruud was incarcerated at Grini concentration camp for expressing his anti-Nazi sentiments. After his release in 1944, he joined the Norwegian resistance movement. He also competed in the 1948 Olympics, winning the ski jumping silver medal at age 36, though he was initially only at the Games as assistant coach of Norway’s ski jumping team. This accomplishment he personally held in the highest regard; it made him the first ski jumper to medal in three different Olympics. Twice he set ski jumping world records: 76.5 m (250.98 ft) in Odnesbakken in 1931, and 92 m (301.84 ft) in Planica in 1934.
In 1987, a bronze sculpture of Birger Ruud, by the Norwegian sculptor Per Ung, was set up in Ruud’s native town of Kongsberg, and in 1991 he was awarded the Egebergs Ærespris for his achievements in ski jumping and alpine skiing. Ruud was selected to light the Olympic Flame at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics in Norway, but had to withdraw due to heart complications immediately before the event. He died in 1998, aged 86.
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Grete Ingeborg Nykkelmo
| Egebergs Ærespris