First introduced into Western Canada by Scandinavian immigrants, ski jumping rapidly became a hugely successful spectator sport attracting several hundred spectators to local competitions. Revelstoke and Rossland were the earliest established clubs with the friendly rivalry existing between them expanding to include other Norwegians settled in America's mountainous west. Its popularity would eventually guarantee its transition from its origins as a local amateur sport to a professional circuit that lasted for several years.
Introduced into eastern Canada in the early years of the 20thC, again by Scandinavians, the general public was no less fascinated by the sport. On one occasion, a competition in Ottawa, where the outrun of the ski jump finished on the frozen Ottawa River drew an estimated 5,000 spectators.
Ski jumping is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to climb a tower of 35 m, strap on a pair of heavy, 240 cm skis, ski down a 30 degree ramp and leap into space. It is, quite literally, a leap of faith. With improvements in technique and equipment the 30 to 40 m jumps of the 1930s are overshadowed by leaps of over 200 m today.
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