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Sondre Norheim
- the
Skiing Pioneer of Telemark

Morgedal – in the Heart of Telemark

Morgedal is a small village centrally located in the county of Telemark, southern Norway. As a part of the municipality of Kviteseid, the village is situated about 200 kilometres or three hours drive from the Norwegian capital of Oslo, along highway E 134 between eastern and western Norway.

Feel free to browse
>The Photo
Gallery from Morgedal
>The Øverbø story
>The stor
ies about the Olympic Torch Ceremonies
>The Sondre story

Morgedal has about 300 inhabitants. Most of them are working in tourism, the service industry or farming. The village has a hotel and other accommodations.

Also located in the village close to Lake Morgedal (423 metres above sea level) is the Norwegian Ski Adventure Centre (Norsk Skieventyr). On the hillside one can find Øverbø, the former cotters farm where ski legend Sondre Norheim (1825-1897) was born.

In the 1850’s a flourishing ski environment arose in Morgedal inspired by Sondre. Skiing became a very popular recreational activity where people experimented with new techniques and equipment. Later, Sondre and his followers came to the nation’s capital where they demonstrated their new way of skiing.

This Telemark style and the equipment used by the skiers from this valley became a model in the further developments of skiing as a sport, both in Norway and abroad. Because of this, Morgedal has been called the Cradle of Skiing, and Sondre the Father of Modern Skiing.

The valley of Morgedal
Photo by Eivind Molde

Because this small community has had such an important impact on the history of skiing, Morgedal has been chosen as the place for lighting the Olympic Torch three times. A statue of Sondre is located close to the adventure centre, a memorial stone erected in the same area, and an eternal flame shines day and night from a special cairn in Lake Morgedal.

For more than fifty years people from all over the world have travelled to Morgedal to visit Sondre’s birthplace and learn about this fascinating history of skiing. The
Norwegian Ski Adventure Centre and Øverbø, which has become a museum, register between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors every year.

Morgedal is also known as the birthplace of other famous skiers, such as the Mikkel and Torjus Hemmestveit brothers, Svein Sollid and Jon Hauge. Olav Bjaaland, who participated in the Roald Amundsen South Pole Expedition (1910-1912) is also among the recogni
zed skiers.

The Olav Bjaaland Museum which opened in 1966, has become a part of the adventure centre. This centre opened in 1993.

For more information about Morgedal, see www.morgedal.com.

Copyright © 2002-2012 by Anne-Gry Blikom and Eivind Molde email@sondrenorheim.com
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