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Soldier Field Ski-Jumping Looks Ridiculously Cool In 1930s Video

By Justin Breen | December 30, 2015 5:42am | Updated on January 3, 2017 11:43am

A contestant is shown mid-air in a jump at the Chicago Ski Tournament. (Chicago History Museum)

CHICAGO — There once were braver souls at Soldier Field than the NFL players who currently call the stadium home.

A handful of times last century, Soldier Field home hosted the Chicago Ski Tournament — a winter festival that featured a ski jump hill. A two-minute silent video posted by the Pilsen-based Chicago Film Archives shows ski jumpers flying off the hill, and wiping out, in front of a large lakefront crowd.

Watch the video here (Ski jumping begins at about the 1:18 mark)

The 1937 video showing the Chicago Ski Tournament is part of the Chicago Film Archives' Glick - Berolzheimer Collection. The video also includes two cars crashing through fire on the field, plus ice skaters near what would be the 50-yard-line.

The Chicago Ski Tournament was held in 1936-1938 and 1954, according to the Chicago History Museum. Ski jumpers landed on shaved ice, not snow. The 1936 ski jump event was won by Eugene Wilson, an unemployed road worker from Minnesota, according to the Tribune.

The 50-meter ski jump was completely wooden, according to the Ski Jumping Hill Archive. The Norges Ski Club, based out Fox River Grove, hosted the Soldier Field competitions.