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

Birger Ruud
Birger Ruud3.jpg
Birger Ruud in 1936
Country Norway
Born23 August 1911 (1911-08-23)
Kongsberg, Norway
Died13 June 1998 (1998-06-14) (aged 86)
Kongsberg, Norway
Personal best92 m (302 ft)
Planica, King. of Yugoslavia
(25 March 1934)
Medal record
Men's ski jumping
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1932 Lake Placid Individual LH
Gold medal – first place 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Individual LH
Silver medal – second place 1948 St. Moritz Individual LH
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1931 Oberhof Individual LH
Gold medal – first place 1935 Vysoké Tatry Individual LH
Gold medal – first place 1937 Chamonix Individual LH
Silver medal – second place 1939 Zakopane Individual LH
Men's alpine skiing
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1935 Mürren Alpine combined


Birger Ruud in 1949

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.[1] 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.[1] After his release in 1944, he joined the Norwegian resistance movement.[2] 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.[1] This accomplishment he personally held in the highest regard; it made him the first ski jumper to medal in three different Olympics.[1]

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.[3][4]

Later in life, Birger Ruud, with his friend Petter Hugsted, the 1948 gold medalist, 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 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.[1]

Ski jumping world recordsEdit

Date Hill Location Metres Feet
18 January 1931   Odnesbakken Odnes, Norway 76.5 251
24 March 1934   Bloudkova velikanka K90 Planica, Kingdom of Yugoslavia 87 285
25 March 1934   Bloudkova velikanka K90 Planica, Kingdom of Yugoslavia 92 302

  Not recognized! Crash at world record distance.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lutz, Rachel (February 14, 2018). "1948: Birger Ruud wins silver after surviving Nazi concentration camp". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Jaime Loucky (2005). The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics, Toronto: Sport Classic Books. ISBN 1-894963-45-8
  3. ^ "Kjempe-hopp i Flubergbakken (page 2)" (in Norwegian). Porsgrunns Dagblad. 19 January 1931.
  4. ^ "Svetovni rekordi na naših tleh / Rekord za rekordom (page 1)" (in Slovenian). Jutro. 26 March 1934.
  5. ^ "Višek smučarske sezone, p.14" (in Slovenian). Slovenec. 25 March 1934.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Egebergs Ærespris
Succeeded by