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Profile of the Day: Olav Bjaaland

On this day in 1873, Norwegian ski campion and polar explorer Olav Bjaaland was born.

Image: Olav Bjaaland / Wikimedia Commons

Bjaaland was born on March 5, 1873 on the Søndre Bjaaland farm at Morgedal in Telemark, Norway. The small village of Morgedal is known as the cradle of skiing. One of its most famous residents was Sondre Norheim, who is known as the father of modern skiing.

Known at the time as one of the greatest skiers in Norway, Bjaanland skill set came in handy when he joined Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on his expedition to the South Pole. A skilled carpenter, Bjaanland was also able to help modify sledges, skis and other equipment during the trek. In December 1911, Bjaaland became of one of the first five men to reach the South Pole.

Bjaanland died on June 8, 1961 at the age of 88.

Explore Olav Bjaaland’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the Norwegian skier and explorer.

View Olav Bjaaland’s Geni Profile

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