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New OHS exhibit touts state's winter wonders and prepares people for the upcoming Olympics.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY/RAY ATKESON - The new Oregon Historical Society exhibit focuses on the long history of winter sports in Oregon (including ski jumping with Hermod Bakke, above).Winter weather and skiing, snowboarding and anything else people do in the snow are coming, and an Oregon Historical Society exhibit is setting the stage for the season.

"Freeze the Day! History of Winter Sports in Oregon," which opened Friday, Dec. 3, tells the history of winter sports in Oregon. And, with beautiful peaks and state winter wonderlands, it's an extensive history — no wonder the exhibit will stay until summer, July 17.

The exhibit includes photos, artifacts and more. From an OHS news release: "Oregon's unique topography and climate have created an environment of endless possibility for outdoor recreation. Whether engaging in leisure activities on the weekends or competing in professional athletic events, Oregonians have long enjoyed experiences shaped by snow and ice.

"Countless individuals have shaped the history of winter sports in Oregon, including Native people who developed and adapted technology and cultural practices to survive and thrive in snow and ice. Euro-American immigrants who arrived in the 19th century began to explore ways to recreate around the mountains, lakes and rivers. In the beginning of the 20th century, Oregonians started building alpine resorts, sporting clubs and recreational facilities across the state."

The exhibit profiles 13 athletes, including Olympic snowboarders Ben Ferguson and Chris Klug, luger Jack Elder, figure skater Tonya Harding and Special Olympics Oregon snowboarder Henry Meece. Innovators also flourished, such as Hjalmar Hvam, who developed the world's first workable safety ski binding, and Oregon Adaptive Sports, which provides snow opportunities to community members with disabilities.

Visitors also will discover many of the ice sports that people enjoy throughout the state as well as beloved teams past and present, from the Portland Rosebuds to the Portland Winterhawks.

"With the Winter Olympics coming up, a visit to 'Freeze the Day' is the perfect way to brush up on your Oregon sports history as we anticipate cheering on Team USA next February," said Kerry Tymchuk, OHS executive director.

"Whether or not you are a winter sports aficionado or simply an admirer of Oregon's natural wonders, this fun and immersive exhibition has something for visitors of all ages."

"Freeze the Day! A History of Winter Sports in Oregon" shows during normal hours through July 17 at the Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave. For more:

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