Saint-Moritz, 18 February 1928: Jacob Tullin THAMS of Norway, 28th, in action in the ski jumping event, during the II Olympic Winter Games. Credit : IOC/Olympic Museum collections
Born: 7 April 1898
Deceased: 27 July 1954
Sport: Sailing, Skiing
ATTENDANCE AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
St. Moritz 1928
World Championships (Ski Jumping)
Gold: 1 (26)
On snow and water
Ski jumping was one of sixteen events to be included in the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924. There were 27 competitors, however the Norwegians dominated, taking four of the first five places. The honour of becoming the first Olympic ski jump champion went to Jacob Tullin Thams, whose fine style carried him to a narrow victory over countryman Narve Bonna.
Thams returned to the Olympics in 1928 intent on defending his title. However, he became involved in a controversial incident. An argument developed between the Swiss hosts and the Norwegian favorites. The Norwegians claimed that the high starting point chosen by the Swiss gave an unfair boost to mediocre jumpers who would have been unable to jump as far as the more skilled entrants if the start was farther down. When the Norwegians were accused of being "cowards," Thams became outraged.
Tied for fifth after the first jump, he made his point with his second jump by flying all the way to the flat area beyond the landing zone. He stretched out to 73m - at that time the longest jump ever recorded - but he fell when he hit the ground. The consequent loss of style points dropped him to 28th place.
Thams competed in the Olympics one more time - the Summer Olympics - in 1936. As a member of the Norwegian crew in the 8m yachting event, Thams earned a silver medal. He is one of only four people to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Games.