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Thomas Wassberg

Full name: Thomas Lars Wassberg
Gender: Male
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
Born: March 27, 1956 in Lennartsfors, Årjäng, Värmland, Sweden
Affiliations: Åsarna IK, Åsarna, Berg (SWE)
Country: SWE Sweden
Sport: Cross Country Skiing

Medals: 4 Gold (4 Total)

Biography

Thomas Wassberg was one of the best cross-country skiers of the 1980s. He had his breakthrough as a 21-year-old, when he placed second and fourth at the 1977 World Cup competitions in Lapland. In 1980 he was awarded the Swedish Dagbladet gold medal, but refused to accept it, protesting that his teammate Sven-Åke Lundbäck had not been awarded the medal in 1978 after his successes at the World Championships. Wassberg also received the Holmenkollen medal in 1980.

Wassberg competed at four Winter Olympics, winning four gold medals, two individually and two in relays. He also won three gold medals, three silvers and one bronze medal at three World Championships. In 1987 at Oberstdorf he showed his supremacy winning medals in all four cross-country races: gold in 30 km and relay, and silver in 15 km and 50 km. In 1977 he won the then unofficial overall World Cup title, and was placed second officially in 1982, 1984 and 1987. Wassberg won six World Cup races and made the top three 18 times. He won the 50 km three times at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival (1980, 1982 and 1987), also winning the 15 km twice (1979, 1985). In addition, he won eight individual Swedish Championship titles, seven in the relay, and another 24 in the team events between 1979 and 1988.

Wassberg was involved in a historic sprint battle for the gold medal in the 15 km race at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. In an interval start event he defeated Finnish skier Juha Mieto by the narrowest of margins, 1/100th of a second. This gave rise to a rule change, in which it was decided that the minimum margin to win a race win in cross-country shall be 1/10th of a second. Wassberg’s proposal to share the gold medal was not accepted by the IOC.

After Wassberg concluded his active career be became a sports reporter for Sveriges Radio and coach for the cross-country skiing club Åsarna IK. In 2009 he appeared in the show contests Masters Champion in Swedish Television. Today he manages the preparation of ski tracks for Åsarna IK, organizes bird hunts for tourists and works in the forest.

Results

Men's 15 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T I1T I1R I2T I2R
1976 Winter 19 Innsbruck Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 15 46:13.35 22:17.64 13 33:50.32 13
1980 Winter 23 Lake Placid Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 1 41:57.63 13:22.08 1 25:47.14 1

Men's 30 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R
1980 Winter 23 Lake Placid Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 4 1-28:40.35 28:44.23 2 44:57.94 3 58:23.83 2
1984 Winter 27 Sarajevo Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 14 1-32:25.3 22:09.1 8 45:09.9 8 1-08:25.2 8
1988 Winter 31 Calgary Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 42 1-34:07.6 30:22.6 47 1-01:40.7 41

Men's 50 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R I4T I4R
1984 Winter 27 Sarajevo Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings 1 2-15:55.8 22:19.5 1 54:35.8 1 1-30:02.6 2 2-03:10.2 2
1988 Winter 31 Calgary Cross Country Skiing Sweden Final Standings AC DNF

Men's 4 × 10 kilometres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T ET ER
1976 Winter 19 Innsbruck Cross Country Skiing Sweden SWE Final Standings 4 31:37.72 1-39:32.82 4
1980 Winter 23 Lake Placid Cross Country Skiing Sweden SWE Final Standings 5 28:48.20 2-00:42.71 5
1984 Winter 27 Sarajevo Cross Country Skiing Sweden SWE Final Standings 1 28:47.0 28:47.0 1
1988 Winter 31 Calgary Cross Country Skiing Sweden SWE Final Standings 1 25:50.5 52:09.3 2