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Burns Lake museum receives Olympic artifacts

Kaare Engstad competed in 1932 cross-country skiing competition
Phil and Pete Engstad (left to right) — shown here with Lakes District Museum director Valerie Anderson — have gifted the museum with artifacts from the career of their father, Olympic skier Kaare Engstad. (Submitted photo)

An Olympic sweater from the 1932 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., is among the artifacts recently donated to the local museum by the family of Kaare Engstad, a world-class skier who once called the Burns Lake area home.

His 16th-place finish in the 50 km cross-country race at Lake Placid remained unbeaten by any Canadian man until 2010, according to the Lakes District Museum.

As well as the sweater, items donated by the Engstad family include his championship trophies, a program from the 1932 Olympics and an autograph book containing the signatures of several Olympic medalists.

Engstad, who died in 1981, is remembered as an active member of the Omineca Ski Club who triumphed in Nordic skiing competitions across Canada.

Phil and Pete Engstad said their father was able to compete in the 1932 Olympic Games because of support from the Burns Lake community. Indeed, residents of Burns Lake even prepared him box lunches for his eastward rail journey, according to Cross Country BC.

“Given the high level of community support for our father, it was easy for us to conclude that the community should be the custodians of his skiing trophies and other memorabilia,” the Engstads said in a statement from the museum.

The Lakes District Museum opened its doors for the season on April 30.