Notable Norwegians: Casper Oimoen
Casper Oimoen was born May 8, 1906, in Norway and learned to ski as a boy growing up there. He came to Minot, North Dakota, in 1923 at the age of 17. He could not compete in the 1928 Olympic Games because he was not an American citizen, but he did compete regionally.
Casper entered the 1932 Olympics and placed fifth in skiing and in 1936, he was named Captain of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. During his career, he won over 400 medals and trophies with a winning record that has not been matched. He won the Northwestern Ski Jumping Championship nine times in nine entries, the Montana State Jumping Championship six times in six entries, the Central United States Championship ten times, and the United States National Ski Jumping Championship three times. In 1930, he won the Eastern, Central, and National Championships, plus eight other first places, something that has never been duplicated.
He won the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award and in 1963, Casper was inducted into the United States Skiing Hall of Fame. He was a bricklayer by occupation, a trade he had learned from his uncle in Minot. During the 1930s, he worked on a crew that built the North Dakota State Capitol Building. He died in 1995.
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 26, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.