Oslo’s Holmenkollen Ski Jump: Old, New, Great Views, and Big Thrills

I’ve left Stockholm, and have landed in Norway’s capital — Oslo. My first stop is a famous old ski jump that has a fresh new look.

A top sight in Oslo is the legendary Holmenkollen Ski Jump. One of the world’s oldest ski jumps (from 1892), Holmenkollen has hosted many championships, including the 1952 Winter Olympics. To win the privilege of hosting the 2011 World Ski Jump Championship, Oslo built a bigger jump to match modern ones that had been built elsewhere. You can ride an elevator to the top and stand right at the starting gate, just like an athlete, and get a feel for this daredevil sport. The jump empties into a 30,000-seat amphitheater, and you’ll enjoy one of the best possible views of Oslo.

As you ponder the jump, consider how modern athletes continually push the boundaries of their sport. The first champion here (in 1892) jumped 21 meters. In 1930, it took a 50-meter jump to win. In 1962, it was 80 meters, and in 1980, the champ cracked 100 meters. Most recently, a jump of 140 meters took first place.

While the view is exciting from the top, even more exciting is watching thrill-seekers rocket down the course on a zipline from the same lofty perch (600 Norwegian kronor per trip — that’s $100…yes, Norway’s expensive).