Skiing + Snowboarding

Our Ski Museum's Must-See Artifact

The United States' first Winter Olympic Medal was awarded 50 years late thanks to a math mistake.

By Devon O'Neil November 22, 2016 Published in the Holiday 2016/2017 issue of Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine

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Anders Haugen's Olympic coat should have seen the podium, but didn't. It's one of many unusual and interesting artifacts in Vail's Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum.

The parade coat that Anders Haugen wore in the first Winter Olympics might be one of the most overlooked—and interesting—artifacts on display at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum in Vail Village. The Norwegian-born Haugen, a bricklayer who captained the first U.S. Ski Team in 1924, finished fourth in ski jumping at Chamonix. Until 50 years later, when a Norwegian ski historian re-tallied results from the first games and discovered a mathematical error in the jumping scores that, when corrected, rewrote history. In 1974, Haugen was awarded a belated bronze, and became the first American to win a Winter Olympics medal, at age 86.


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