|Sig in fine form on the Blackhawk Ski Club hill in Madison, WI in 1957.|
STORY No. 65
Sportsclubb Lyn, St. Paul SKi Club, Norge Ski Club, Iola Winter Sports Club
I have been blessed with a long career in ski jumping. I started ski jumping in 1937 where I represented Sportsclubb Lyn in Trondheim Norway. In 1949 I moved to St Paul and skied for the St Paul Ski Club until 1952. From 1952 to 1972 I skied for Norge Ski Club where I also played Major League Soccer. From 1972 to 2000 I skied for Iola Winter Sports Club, where I am still a member.
Through the years I have served in many capacities in ski jumping. I served as head Coach of Central for 4 years. I was a ski jumping judge for many years and in 1989 I was an assistant US Ski Team Coach. My last competition jump was on Iola’s 68K in 2000 when I was 68 years old.
Over my 63 years of jumping there are so many stories to remember, some are funny, tragic, proud, heart breaking and victorious. There have been many highs in my career, some lows, and much in between. But there is one story that took 47 years to come full circle so for me it is very memorable.
In 1993 at the age of 61 I was competing at The Word Masters in Kuopio, Finland on the K69. I was on the top of the jump waiting with a few Norwegians. Next to me there was a jumper whose dialect I recognized was from my home town of Trondheim. I asked the man if he had skied in the Trondheim district championships in 1946. He went on to tell me he had won the competition. Well this fact hit home to me because I got 2nd place and never forgot it. I had actually out-jumped him, but you know the story- I felt the judges had dealt me a bad hand. I remember thinking here is a competitor I have not seen in 47 years , and I also knew he was favored to win The Master’s in Kuopio. But on that sunny day, after the competition was over, I was on top of the victory stand listening to The National Anthem. It had taken 47 years to get even, but my Norwegian friend was at my right in 2nd place.
My next Tournament will be this March at the Junior Nationals in Minneapolis where I will have two grandchildren competing. Trygve Gessner 16 and Finn Gessner 13 will both be competing in Nordic Combined representing Blackhawk Ski Club in Madison WI. These days I enjoy watching my grandsons jumping on the circuit and giving them coaching advice.
|Sig with grandchildren Trygve and Finn at 2012 Junior Nationals in Park City.|