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Cross Country Skiing at the 1928 Sankt Moritz Winter Games:

Men's 18 kilometres

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Host City: Sankt Moritz, Switzerland
Venue(s): Ski Stadium, St. Moritz
Date Started: February 17, 1928
Date Finished: February 17, 1928

Gold: NOR Johan Grøttumsbraaten
Silver: NOR Ole Hegge
Bronze: NOR Reidar Ødegård

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Johan Grøttumsbraaten 28 Norway NOR Gold 1-37:01
2 Ole Hegge 29 Norway NOR Silver 1-39:01
3 Reidar Ødegård 26 Norway NOR Bronze 1-40:11
4 Veli Saarinen 25 Finland FIN 1-40:57
5 Hagbart Håkonsen 32 Norway NOR 1-41:29
6 Per Erik Hedlund 30 Sweden SWE 1-41:51
7T Lars-Theodor Jonsson 24 Sweden SWE 1-41:59
7T Martti Lappalainen 25 Finland FIN 1-41:59
9 Sven Utterström 26 Sweden SWE 1-42:04
10 Ville Mattila 24 Finland FIN 1-44:37
11 Franz Donth Czechoslovakia TCH 1-47:14
12 Vladimír Novák 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-47:53
13 Einar Mässeli 30 Finland FIN 1-47:55
14 Ludwig Böck 25 Germany GER 1-48:56
15 Walter Bussmann 23 Switzerland SUI 1-49:46
16 Otakar Německý 25 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-50:20
17 Harald Paumgarten 23 Austria AUT 1-51:43
18 Józef Bujak 29 Poland POL 1-54:38
19 Otto Wahl 23 Germany GER 1-55:00
20 Hans Bauer 24 Germany GER 1-57:03
21 Otto Furrer 24 Switzerland SUI 1-57:05
22 Matthäus Demetz 18 Italy ITA 1-57:08
23 Zdzisław Motyka 21 Poland POL 1-58:10
24 Florian Zogg 27 Switzerland SUI 1-58:52
25 Andrzej Krzeptowski II 25 Poland POL 1-59:02
26 Joško Janša 27 Yugoslavia YUG 2-01:14
27 Takeo Yazawa Japan JPN 2-02:29
28 François Vallier France FRA 2-03:27
29 Wilhelm Braun 30 Germany GER 2-03:52
30 Paul Simond France FRA 2-03:54
31 Sakuta Takefushi 21 Japan JPN 2-04:20
32 Minoru Nagata Japan JPN 2-04:23
33 Maurice Mandrillon 25 France FRA 2-04:39
34 Giovanni Testa Italy ITA 2-08:49
35 Vitale Venzi Italy ITA 2-09:28
36 Martial Payot 27 France FRA 2-09:42
37 Subaru Takahashi 25 Japan JPN 2-10:57
38 William Thompson 22 Canada CAN 2-12:24
39 Petar Klofutar Yugoslavia YUG 2-14:08
40 Janko Janša Yugoslavia YUG 2-19:54
41 Merritt Putman 27 Canada CAN 2-22:40
42 Boris Režek 19 Yugoslavia YUG 2-28:44
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
AC Volger Andersson 32 Sweden SWE DNF
AC Gyula Szepes 28 Hungary HUN DNF
AC Ferenc Németh Hungary HUN DNF
AC Alfons Julen 28 Switzerland SUI DNF