Gunstock Ski Jump Rededicated to Torger Tokle

March 9 ceremony marks 70th anniversary of Tokle's hill record

Wednesday, March 9, 2011, marked the 70th anniversary of Torger Tokle’s record-setting jump on the 60-meter jump at the Belknap Mountains Recreation Area (today’s Gunstock Mountain Resort). It was a record that remained unbroken for 35 years and was surpassed only when the ski jump was enlarged to a 70-meter hill during the mid-1970’s.

Nina and Ken Tokle by Torger's Plaque (Alan Glassman photo)
To commemorate Torger Tokle, his life, and his tragic death during World War II, the Gunstock Mountain Historic Preservation Society (GMHPS), in a moving ceremony, unveiled a memorial plaque at the base of the hill to honor Torger Tokle. Greg Goddard, Gunstock's General Manager, rededicated the hill in memory of Torger Tokle just as it had been in March 1946.

On hand to represent the Tokle family at the unveiling was Kenneth Tokle (right, with the big jump in the background), nephew of Torger, and long time ski jumping judge, and Ken's wife, Nina.

Also in attendance were Dan Warner, a ski jumping official and enthusiastic supporter of the sport who spoke during the ceremony, Lisa Kling, vice president of the new Preservation Society, and Penny Pitou, two-time Silver Medalist at the 1960 Winter Olympics (below, second from left). Gunstock Mountain Resort was represented by Greg Goddard and Bill Quigley (below, left), Director of Marketing and Sales.

Bill Quigley, Penny Pitou, Nina and Ken Tokle (Alan Glassman photo)

Bill Quigley, Penny Pitou, Nina and Ken Tokle inspect an
engineer's drawing entitled "Anatomy of a Ski Jump"

The Preservation Society was formed after the 70-meter jump was awarded the Seven to Save designation by the NH Preservation Alliance in 2009. What started as a restoration project of the 70-meter jump has grown into the restoration and preservation of all four historic jumps at Gunstock. The restoration will be completed in phases with the 10 and 20-meter jumps slated to be restored this year. Work on the 50 and 70-meter jumps will take place in 2012.

Carol Anderson, Nina and Ken Tokle (Alan Glassman photo)

Carol Anderson (above, left), president of GMHPS, had this to say about the jump rededication and the unveiling of the memorial plaque, “Torger Tokle is a hero in every sense of the word, and we are so proud to be a part of the restoration of the jump he loved so much. He called this jump ‘his hill’, and I could not think of a better way to honor him than to restore this jump so that ski jumpers can once again take flight from this magnificent structure.” To learn more about the Gunstock Mountain Historic Preservation Society and their efforts to restore Gunstock’s jumps, please visit www.historicgunstock.com or call: (603)737-4360.

The Torger Tokle Plaque ( Harrison Haas photo)
(Photo courtesy of Harrison Haas, Laconia)

 
[ See See 1959 article about Torger Tokle.]

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