Birger Ruud

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Birger Ruud
Birger Ruud3.jpg
Birger Ruud in 1936
Personal information
Born 23 August 1911 (1911-08-23)
Kongsberg, Norway
Died 13 June 1998 (1998-06-14) (aged 86)

Birger Ruud (23 August 1911 – 13 June 1998) was a Norwegian ski jumper.

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. 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.

Birger Ruud in 1949

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.[1] He competed also in the 1948 Olympics, at age 36, winning the silver medal in ski jumping. This accomplishment he personally held in the highest regard. 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.

Later in life, Birger Ruud, with his friend Petter Hugsted, participated in the creation of the Kongsberg Skiing Museum.

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 supposed to light the Olympic Flame at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, but had to forfeit due to heart complications immediately before the event.


  1. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Jaime Loucky (2005). The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics, Toronto: Sport Classic Books. ISBN 1-894963-45-8
Preceded by
Grete Ingeborg Nykkelmo
Egebergs Ærespris
Succeeded by
Ingrid Kristiansen