Photo Gallery - Morgedal

This is the village of Morgedal, with Lake Morgedal in the heart of the valley.
The village has about 300 inhabitants. Most of them are working in tourism, the service industry or farming.

The centre of the village can be seen on the other side of the lake. Highway E 134 runs along the right side of the lake, which has an altitude of 423 metres.


Morgedal is introduced to the visitors as the Cradle of Skiing.

Another sign informs the road users about Morgedal as the site for Olympic Torch ceremonies. The Olympic Torch has been lit in Morgedal three times.

Øverbø, Sondre's birthplace, is located in the upper left corner of the map, the village centre in the lower right. .

Opened in 1993, the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal (Norsk Skieventyr) offers visitors a journey through the history of skiing. The cairn where the eternal flame burns, can be seen at the right.


The flame was lit here as the Torch Relay for the Olympic Winter Games started in 1993.

The memorial stone, erected in 1925, can be seen to the left of the Sondre statue. The statue was unveiled in 1988 by HM King Olav.


Lake Morgedal and the area where most of the farms are located.
The open area in the wooded hillside at Øverbø can be seen in the upper left corner.

All photos i Morgedal Gallery by Eivind Molde

Photo Gallery - Øverbø

From the centre of Morgedal, Sondre is "looking" in the direction of his birthplace, which can be seen to the left of his head.

The car park with Øverbø information and keys. From this point, one may take a 400-meter walk uphill to Øverbø.


Great view of the beautiful valley of Morgedal, seen while walking up to Øverbø.


The former cotter's farm Øverbø, where Sondre was born.

In 1949, work to change the farm into a museum began. The Morgedal Sports Club now owns Øverbø and is responsible for maintenance.

This is a house similar to the one in which Sondre was born, built on the original foundation.
(This is the house which you can see to the right on the two previous pictures.)


The cowshed in its original form.

Looking in the opposite direction, you can see the cowshed to the left and the Sondre cottage behind the cowshed.


The Sondre cottage.


After marrying Rannei, Sondre built the cottage which was later moved to Øverbø.


Sondre used tree bark as insulation to keep rain from leaking into the house.


A solid construction...


Inside the Sondre cottage, to the right of the door.


Everything you see inside the cottage is handmade by Sondre.


This is the fireplace where the Olympic Torch has been lit three times.


Small bed for a big family...


Information for visitors is placed on the table to the left of the door.


A log chair made by Sondre.


Skis and bindings made by Sondre.


A traditional pinewood torch has been used every time the Olympic Fire has been lit here.


Rannei and Sondre.

Øverbø and the valley of Morgedal. The Sondre cottage can be seen to the right, the cowshed to the left.


Øverbø is located at about 580 metres above sea level, Lake Morgedal at 423 metres.

All photos i Øverbø Gallery by Eivind Molde

Photo Gallery - Special Events in Morgedal

1952: For the first time a Torch Relay is organized for the Olympic Winter Games. Olav Bjaaland, who lit the torch, can be seen to the right.

Photo by Sturlason

1952: From the Sondre cottage the fire is brought down to the centre of Morgedal. Olav Hemmestveit carries the special torch holder.

Courtesy of Hege Bjåland

1952: Parade of flags at the Sondre memorial stone where all nations participating in the Winter Games  are represented. 

Finn Qvale greets the torchbearer from Øverbø. Olav Bjaaland stands to the right. From here the Torch Relay sets off, heading for Bislett Stadium in Oslo, 200 kilometres away.

Courtesy of Eivind Strondi

1960: With Olav Nordskog at his side, Eivind Donstad is lighting the pinewood torch. 

Photo by Varden

1960: Olav Hemmestveit is ready to set off down the hillside with the Olympic Torch in his hand.

From Morgedal the fire is brought all the way to Squaw Valley.

Photo by Varden

HRH Crown Prince Olav visits Sondre's birthplace in 1955. The Crown Prince can be seen in the middle of the picture, wearing a white anorak.

Courtesy of Eivind Strondi

The movie about Sondre was very well received when it was broadcast on national TV in Norway. This is a part of the production team on location in Morgedal in 1970. From left, script girl Janca Poliany, photographer Per Moen and director Johan Vestly.

Photo by Jo Vestly

In 1988 the statue of Sondre, done by Telemark sculptor Knut Skinnarland, is unveiled in Morgedal by HM King Olav.

Photo by Tore Øyvind Moen, Varden

The King talking to the chairman of the US fundraising committee, Høstfest President Chester Reiten. To the right: Knut Skinnarland.

Courtesy of Ragnhild Hagen

1993: Sondre's great grandchild, Dorothy Lyon (carrying a torch) together with President and CEO of the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee Gerhard Heiberg and Norwegian Minister of Culture Åse Kleveland at Øverbø on the night before the torch is lit.

Photo by Eivind Molde

Gerhard Heiberg and Kviteseid Mayor Inge Fjalestad together with HRH Princess Märtha Louise outside the Sondre cottage.

Morgedal is located in the municipality of Kviteseid.

Photo by Leif Jamtveit
Courtesy of the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal

Inside the Sondre cottage HRH Princess Märtha Louise lights the pinewood torch from the fireplace.

Eivind Strondi and Knut Råmunddal are at her side.

Photo © Kjetil Rolseth

Minutes before entering the ceremony arena, Knut Tore Apeland of Edland, Telemark is lighting the eternal flame at a cairn in Lake Morgedal.

Photo by Leif Jamtveit
Courtesy of the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal

The torch for the relay, carried by Gerhard Heiberg, is lit by fire from the pinewood torch, held by Åse Kleveland. To the right: the Olympic Mascots.

Photo © Kjetil Rolseth

After the ceremony in the centre of Morgedal, the 75-day long Torch Relay sets off for Lillehammer.

Alpine skiing champion Atle Skårdal of Lunde, Telemark is the first runner.

Photo by Leif Jamtveit
Courtesy of the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal

North Dakota Governor Edward Schafer is picking up a branch of the torch in Skien. 

The torch is brought to North Dakota, where ceremonies are held at Sondre’s gravesite and at the Sondre statue (see the pictures from Dakota in the gallery Special Events in Minot and Denbigh).

Photo by Per-Eirik Hekkelstrand, Varden

Photo Gallery - Special Events in Minot and Denbigh

The Minot statue of Sondre was unveiled in 1987. Sculptor Knut Skinnarland and his wife, Tove, in front of the statue.

Courtesy of Norsk Høstfest Assn.

Among the guests from Norway were Skien Mayor Einfrid Halvorsen (to the left) and Ragnhild Hagen, head of Norwegian statue committee.

Courtesy of Norsk Høstfest Assn.

In 1983 Princess Astrid of Norway visits Sondre's grave at Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery near Denbigh.

She is a guest at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot that year.

Photo by Ragnhild Hagen

1992: President and CEO of the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee, Gerhard Heiberg (to the right) and Lillehammer Mayor Audun Tron.

Photo by Anne-Gry Blikom

1993: North Dakota Governor Edward Schafer arrives at Minot Airport with the Morgedal Flame. John Coughlin of the Minot Ski Patrol to the right.

Photo by Minot Daily News

The next day the torch is brought to Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery by Minot and Bottineau ski patrols including Morgedal skier Lars Berge Haugan.

Photo by Minot Daily News

Lars Berge Haugan and members of the ski patrols at Sondre's grave south of Denbigh.

Photo by Minot Daily News

One day later the Sondre Norheim Eternal Flame is lit by Lars Berge Haugan. 

This monument is located in the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, close to the Sondre statue.

Photo by Minot Daily News

1995: Dorothy Lyon, a great grandchild of Sondre, and Kviteseid Mayor Inge Fjalestad participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at Sondre's grave.

Morgedal, Sondre's birthplace, is located in the municipality of Kviteseid.

Courtesy of Norsk Høstfest Assn.

The orchestra of HM King Harald V's Guard at the gravesite.

Courtesy of Norsk Høstfest Assn.

2003: Dorothy Lyon (right) together with a great great grand niece of Sondre, Asgjerd Strondi.

Asgjerd laid the wreath on Sondre's grave during the wreath-laying ceremony this year.

Photo by Anne Grethe Bakke

Anne Grethe Bakke (left), director of the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal (Norsk Skieventyr) in Morgedal, Asgjerd Strondi and Thor Stein Johansen.

He is the Royal Norwegian Consul General in Minneapolis.

Photo by Eivind Molde

2007: Reidun Major Holm, a great great granddaughter of Sondre Norheim, is laying the wreath on Sondre's grave.

Photo by Trond Olaf Oldrup Olsen

2008: Genealogist David Gunderson lays a bouquet of roses on the Rannei Åmundsdotter Memorial Marker.

The marker for Rannei, Sondre's wife, was dedicated by Mr. Gunderson, a great, grand nephew of Rannei. He was instrumental in providing the year and date of Rannei's death, as well as coordinating the purchase of the memorial marker. Telelaget of America was a major contributor for the marker.

Photo by Mary Cross

David Gunderson and Eilev Omland at Sondre's grave. 

Mr. Gunderson is the genealogist of Hadeland Lag of America. Mr. Omland, the president of the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal (Norsk Skieventyr) in Morgedal, laid the wreath on the grave.

Photo by Tarjei Gjelstad

Tarjei Gjelstad and David Gunderson in Norway Lutheran Church.

Mr. Gunderson, the genealogist of Hadeland Lag of America, receives a model of an old Sondre Norheim ski from Tarjei Gjelstad, director of Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal (Norsk Skieventyr) in Morgedal. The gift is a remembrance for the work Mr. Gunderson has done in providing the year and date of Rannei Åmundsdotter's death, as well as supplying the death certificate for Rannei, his great, grand aunt, Sondre's wife.

Photo by Bjarne Råmunddal

Photo Gallery - The Memorials

The memorial stone in Morgedal was unveiled June 10, 1925, 100 years after Sondre’s birth.

Photo by Eivind Molde

The stone on Sondre's grave at Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery south of Denbigh, North Dakota.

Photo by Eivind Molde

The stone with a memorial plaque was unveiled June 12, 1966. The plaque was made by Ulefos Jernværk, Telemark.

Photo by Eivind Molde

The memorial plaque was repainted in 2005. Norway Lutheran Church can be seen to the left.

Photo by Fredrik Pedersen

The Sondre grave as it looks after the memorial plaque was repainted.

Photo by Fredrik Pedersen

The Rannei Åmundsdotter Memorial Marker.
The marker for Rannei, Sondre's wife, was dedicated at the gravesite September 30, 2008. Telelaget of America was a major contributor for the marker. The other contributors were one great, grand nephew, two great, grand nieces and one cousin.

Photo by David Gunderson

Sondre's grave with the gravestone and the Rannei Åmundsdotter Memorial Marker.

Photo by David Gunderson

The statues of Sondre were created by sculptor Knut Skinnarland of Rauland, Telemark.
The statue in Minot, North Dakota is located in the Scandinavian Heritage Park.

Photo by Craig Nansen

The statue of Norwegian-born skier Casper Oimoen can be seen in the middle - the Sondre statue to the right.

Photo by Craig Nansen

The Minot statue was unveiled October 16, 1987.

Photo by Eivind Molde

Located in the centre of the village where Sondre was born, the statue in Morgedal was unveiled at January 16, 1988.

The statue is placed right in front of the Norwegian Ski Museum Morgedal (Norsk Skieventyr).

Photo by Eivind Molde

Identical statues in Minot and Morgedal were funded by people of North Dakota and Telemark.

Photo by Eivind Molde

The 2.5-meter tall statues are made of bronze.

Photo by Eivind Molde

In Morgedal, Sondre can "look back" to his birthplace, Øverbø, which can be seen on the left side of his left foot.

Photo by Eivind Molde

This is Høydalsmo, and in these hills a well known ski jumping competition was held in 1866.

Sondre won the competition here in 1866 - and received an extra prize for spectacular performance.

Photo by Eivind Molde

In 1966, as ski enthusiasts in Telemark celebrated the 100-year anniversary of this event, a memorial stone was erected close to highway E 134.

Photo by Eivind Molde

Photo Gallery - The Flame in Morgedal, Minot and Squaw Valley

Brought across the Atlantic from Morgedal, the Olympic Flame was lit in Squaw Valley on February 18, 1960.

The fire is still burning here, and can be seen at the entrance of the valley as a part of the original tower of nations.

Courtesy of Squaw Valley Ski Corp.

In 1993, the fire was lit in Morgedal on November 27.

Before the Olympic Torch Relay left Morgedal, an eternal flame was lit at this special cairn in Lake Morgedal. 

Photo by Eivind Molde

The fire is burning in Morgedal day and night, in memory of the Olympic ceremonies here.

Photo by Eivind Molde

In December 1993, a branch of the fire from Morgedal was brought to Minot, North Dakota, not far from the place where Sondre is buried.

The eternal flame is still burning in the Scandinavian Heritage Park, close to the Sondre statue. The Sondre Norheim Eternal Flame Monument is designed by artist Sheldon Larson of Minot. The five aluminium skis symbolize the five Nordic countries. The globe represents the many contributions to the sport of skiing that Sondre gave to the world.

Photo by Craig Nansen

Photo Gallery - Telemark Skiing Around the World

USA
Location: Bagely Icefield, Alaska, USA
Skier: Phil Fortier
Photo: Greg Mueller
Greg reports from Alaska: "The Bagely Icefield is very remote, only being accessable by skiplane. Telemark skiing is very popular in Alaska.  There are some clubs here, but most people just put their skis on their shoulders and head for the hills."

USA
Location: Powder Mountain, Utah, USA
Skier: John S. Daniels
Photo: Richar Caldwell

Powder Mountain, Utah has great snow conditions and is a very Telemark friendly mountain. This is one of the many places in the States where you can take lessons to learn the great Telemark technique.

Australia
Location: Mt. Curruthers, Kosciusko National Park, Australia
Skier: Jason Woods
Photo: Craig Martin
Telemarking is a growing sport in Australia, both in the resorts and in the backcountry. The picture was taken in late spring (November 2006).

Antarctica
Location: Antarctica
Photo:Yvette Yeates
The picture was shot on a trip to Antarctica in 2000. Antarctica seems to be a perfect place for Telemark skiing!

Japan
Location: Hokkaido, Japan
Skier: Curtis Savard
Photo: Kate Holmes
This ski area is located in the centre of Hokkaido. Here, just behind a volcano at the coast of Japan, there are hughe snowfalls, and great conditions for Telemark skiing.

Japan
Location: Yotei-san, Japan
Skier: K. Yamanoi
Photo: Keiko Kitamura

Keiko reports from Japan: "Telemark skiing has become more and more popular in Japan. You can find at least one telemarker in any local ski area. There are nine official series races in a season. Backcountry skiing is in fashion now, and the most of them use Telemark gears in the mountains, since mountains in Japan are fitted for Telemark skiing."

Lebanon
Location: Mount Sannine, Cedars region, Lebanon
Provided by www.skileb.com

Our contact in Lebanon reports: "Telemark skiing is indeed practiced in Lebanon by very few people. The picture show Telemark skiers experiencing hors piste slopes in the Cedars region. There is no Telemark association in Lebanon."

France

Location: Pyrenees, France

Skiers: Martin Blandhoel (Norway), Thizerry Galiay (France)

Photo: Maatihou

Since around 1995 Telemark skiing has become a very popular activity in the Pyrenees. At the French side there are a lot of Telemark events, while freeride activities are more common at the Spanish side.

Italy

Location: Mount Libro Aperto, the Apennines, Italy

Provided by Ranieri Kohn

Mount Libro Aperto is located in the area between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Here, in Apennine Mountains, the conditions for Telemark skiing are very good. In this area there is a school where people can learn Telemark skiing.

Switzerland
Location: Verbier, Switzerland
Skier: Andrea Apollonio
Photo: Tito Bertoni

Telemark skiing is becoming more and more popular in Switzerland. The Swiss Telemark Ski Association was founded in 1989. There are several Telemark clubs in the country.

Norway
Location: Alta, Norway
Skier: Pia C. Robertsen
Photo: Jon Vidar Bull
Courtesy of Halddetoppen Telemarkslaug, Alta, Norway

In Norway - the country where Telemark skiing originated - this style of skiing is very popular, both as a recreational activity and in organized races. There are a lot of Telemark clubs around the country. In the ski resorts, it's very common to see people performing the elegant, dynamic Telemark turns.

The Skiing Pioneer of Telemark
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