Host City: Sankt Moritz, Switzerland
Venue(s): Ski Stadium, St. Moritz
Date Started: February 17, 1928
Date Finished: February 17, 1928
As four years before, the 18 km race was held 3 days after the 50 km. race. Most of the competitors from the marathon distance were still not completely recovered from that effort. Nine of the 49 starting skiers were also entered for the Nordic Combined event, among them the great Norwegian all-rounder Johan Grøttumsbraaten. Four years earlier he was overshadowed by his countryman Thorleif Haug and had to be content with one silver and two bronze medals, but in 1926 he was the first World Champion in Nordic Combined.
The weather had changed again. Now the föhn was over, and the temperature was stable around -7° C. The track was icy and fast with a height difference of 400 m, demanding great technical skills from the skiers.
At the halfway point Grøttumsbraaten had a commanding lead over Ole Hegge, the only competitor from the 50 km. event who was able to fight for a medal, and the Finn Martti Lappalainen. In the last part of the race the Norwegian quartet dominated the race, but a strong finish by the best of the Finns, Veli Saarinen, prevented the Norwegians from taking the first four places.
Grøttumsbraaten won his first gold, Hegge was second and Reidar Ødegård from Lillehammer came in third. The Swedish favorite, Sven Utterström, was apparently still not recovered from his illness and ended as a disappointing 8th. The Scandinavian skiers were still dominating, taking the first nine places. Czechoslovakia had the best Middle European team with their best skiers in 10th and 11th place.
Ole Hegge, originating from the Tromsø area far behind the Artic Circle, was the first Olympic medallist from the Arctic Region and an extremely talented skier. He was raised in a poor farming family, became a big local hero but had the habit of almost always coming in second place in important meetings, he did it three times in the Holmenkollen 50 km. In 1928 he emigrated to USA, but in his 90s he visited his birth village in Northern Norway, and was received by his former countrymen as a true skiing hero.
|6||Per Erik Hedlund||30||Sweden||SWE||1-41:51|
|25||Andrzej Krzeptowski II||25||Poland||POL||1-59:02|
|43||Anders Haugen||39||United States||USA||2-30:30|
|44||Charles Proctor||22||United States||USA||2-35:00|
|45||Rolf Monsen||29||United States||USA||2-48:00|