Johnny Hougan – 1915 Ski Jumper at the Edmonton Ski Club
John (Johnny) Hougan was born and raised in the Telemark district in southern Norway, and started ski jumping when he was eight years old, winning numerous competitions. After moving to Canada in 1910, John Hougan began to show his talents and, in 1912, was the champion of northern Alberta – having won all the tournaments during that year. In 1913, John Hougan established himself as Canada’s premier ski jumper as he set the Canadian ski jump record of 109 feet. He went on to beat his own record in 1915 when he jumped 115 feet at the Edmonton Ski Club Jump on Connors Hill with over 5,000 spectators watching the event. John Hougan was the Canadian Ski Jumping Champion in 1913, 1914, and 1915. His final competitive performance came in 1942 in the Northern Alberta Championships off the Connors Hill scaffold when he was over 50 years old.
As a builder, John Hougan contributed to sports as a founding member of the Edmonton Ski Club was founded in 1911, and served as the club’s first secretary. He was a founding member of the National Ski Association of Western Canada in 1912. In 1956 the Canadian Amateur Ski Association appointed him as a judge and official for ski jumping and cross-country events. In 1956, John Hougan was awarded a Life Membership to the Edmonton Ski Club and in 1962 was inducted into the City of Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame.
John Hougan remained active his entire life, and went water skiing on his 80th birthday and skiing at Marmot Basin at age 90. John Hougan passed away in 1984 at the age of 94 years.