The Man in the Photo
John (Johnny) Hougan (this is the original family name spelling) was born and raised in the Telemark district in southern Norway, and started ski jumping when he was eight years old, winning numerous competitions. After moving to Canada in 1910, Johnny began to show his talents and, in 1912, was the champion of northern Alberta - having won all the tournaments during that year. In 1913, he established himself as Canada’s premier ski jumper as he set the Canadian ski jump record of 109 feet. He went on to beat his own record in 1915 when he jumped 115 feet at the Edmonton Ski Club Jump on Connors Hill with over 5,000 spectators watching the event. Johnny was the Canadian Ski Jumping Champion in 1913, 1914, and 1915. His final competitive performance came in 1942 in the Northern Alberta Championships off the Connors hill scaffold when he was over 50 years old. As a builder, John Hougan contributed to sports as a founding member of the Edmonton Ski Club was founded in 1911, and served as the club’s first secretary. He was a founding member of the National Ski Association of Western Canada in 1912. In 1956 the Canadian Amateur Ski Association appointed him as a judge and official for ski jumping and cross-country events. Johnny skied well into his 90’s.
Thank you to Glen Hougan for contacting the DX with this behind the scenes look at his grandfather.
Noa Bronstein - Co-Curator