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Gunnar Eriksson

Full name: Krång Erik Gunnar Eriksson
Gender: Male
Born: January 3, 1921 in Östnor, Mora, Dalarna, Sweden
Died: July 8, 1982 in Mora, Dalarna, Sweden
Affiliations: IFK Mora, Mora (SWE)
Country: SWE Sweden
Sport: Cross Country Skiing

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Bronze (2 Total)

Biography

Gunnar Eriksson formed a famous Swedish trio of cross-country skiers from Mora together with [Anders Törnkvist] and [Nils Karlsson] in the second half of the 1940s and the early 50s. He took bronze in the 18 km at the 1948 Winter Olympics, when the Swedes swept the medals. Running third leg, he helped Sweden win the relay, together with the gold and silver medalists in this event, Martin Lundström and Nils Östensson, and Nils Täpp. At the 1950 World Ski Championships 1950, Eriksson won the 50 km, and ranked 12th in the same event at the 1952 Winter Olympics. In his last major championship contests, the 1954 World Championships in Falun Eriksson placed 21st in the 50 km and 15th in the new championship distance of 30 km. Eriksson was never an individual Swedish champion, but in both 1945 and 1950 he ran the anchor leg when his Mora team won the relay. He also won the highest number of team championships with his club, with 22. Eriksson also won the 50 km race at the 1951 Lahti Ski Games.

Like “Mora-Nisse” Karlsson, Gunnar Eriksson came from Östnor, where his parents raised nine children, six boys and three girls. As his father died at the early age of 42, the children had to contribute to the household budget working in the local knife factory, and in 1946, the brothers started their own hardware factory. His future wife Kerstin Norlin, the winner of the ladies section of the Vasa ski marathon in 1949, lived next door. The same year Eriksson did his best Vasa run, placing sixth. His wife Kerstin died at only 38-years-old and left him behind with their children. He continued to live in Östnor, timbering, collecting stamps, fishing and hunting, until 1980 when he developed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Despite his illness Eriksson performed daily physical activities to keep his muscles active, and rode and skied for as long as he could. He died at only 61-years-old in July 1982.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Cross Country Skiing Men's 18 kilometres Sweden SWE 3 Bronze
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Cross Country Skiing Men's 4 × 10 kilometres Relay Sweden SWE 1 Gold
1952 Winter 31 Oslo Cross Country Skiing Men's 50 kilometres Sweden SWE 12

Men's 18 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T I1T I1R I2T I2R
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 3 1-16:06 24:12 =4 52:48 4

Men's 50 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R
1952 Winter 31 Oslo Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 12 3-55:45 49:10 1 2-11:30 11 3-16:10 12

Men's 4 × 10 kilometres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T ET ER
1948 Winter 27 Sankt Moritz Cross Country Skiing Sweden SWE Final Standings 1 38:27 1-51:57 1
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