Saturday, December 15, 2007

Profile: Norval Baptie


I came across this blog entry about Norval Baptie, born in Ontario but raised in Bathgate, ND, and it intrigued me that once again, greatness can come from anywhere, and here was one in our midst that I never knew about until now.

Baptie won his first world speed skating championship in 1895, and went on to many other amazing accomplishments. And it all started in Bathgate, just down the road from Pembina.

A settler to Pembina County (and Bathgate) had this to say about Norval: "...He kept Bathgate in his heart. Jim never turned away anyone from Pembina County. He kept track of the Bathgate “boys and girls,” who remained young to him, and took personal satisfaction in their accomplishments. One I remember was Norval Baptie, the French-Canadian speed and figure skater, who Jim claimed had perfected tubular shoe skates, which he tested on the Tongue River." From I,Witness to History