Art Tokle - Art Tokle, Hall of Fame jumper

Passing Date

Art Tokle, jumper and coach

Olympic ski jumper and coach Art Tokle, Sr. died on March 3, 2005 at age 82, sixty years to the day after his brother, world champion Torger Tokle, was killed while fighting with the 10th Mountain Division near Iola, Italy.

Arthur Tokle was born in Lokken-Verk, Norway, on August 16, 1922. He came to the U.S. in 1947, at age 25, and made his competitive debut at Bear Mountain's 50-meter hill. During the following year he married Oddfrid Larsen and settled in Lake Telemark, N.J., a semi-rural community founded by Scandinavian immigrants fleeing the tenements of Brooklyn. There he helped to build and maintain a ski jump, and for the next twenty years was a power in American ski jumping.

Tokle became U.S. jumping champion in 1951 and 1953 and competed in the 1952 Olympics in Oslo. He was on the US team for the FIS championships in 1950, 1954 and 1958. In 1960, at age 38, he made the Olympic team again, and went on to win 12 out of 13 tournaments during the 1962 season, at age 40. He coached the Olympic jumping teams in 1964 and 1968, and was named to the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.

Art directed the Nordic ski program at Great Gorge, and worked as a rep for Swix ski wax. In 1974, with Marty Luray, he co-authored the book The Complete Guide to Cross Country Skiing. He regularly served as Chief of Hill on the old 1932 Olympic jump in Lake Placid, and held the same post at the new jumps for the 1980 Olympics.

Survivors include his wife, Oddfrid; his ski-jumping son Art, Jr.; daughter Vivian Lynch; a sister; and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. - from a variety of sources