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Cross Country Skiing at the 1928 Sankt Moritz Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

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Host City: Sankt Moritz, Switzerland
Venue(s): Ski Stadium, St. Moritz
Date Started: February 14, 1928
Date Finished: February 14, 1928

Gold: SWE Per Erik Hedlund
Silver: SWE Gustaf Jonsson
Bronze: SWE Volger Andersson

Summary

As in Chamonix, 50 km. cross country was the first skiing event in St. Moritz, and it ended with a big surprise, also for the Swedes: a clean medal sweep for Sweden. Two of their entrants, among them their favorite Sven Utterström, were ill and were replaced before the start, so the Swedish contingent had no big expectations.

The morning start was held in mild weather conditions, but the forecast predicted colder weather during the day. However, this turned out to be completely wrong. One hour after the start the temperature changed completely, with the famous föhn wind coming from the south with the result that the temperature rose to 25° C. (77° F.) in the sun. This created big problems for the skiers, and it ended with one of the slowest 50 km. in the history of skiing, the winning time was one hour behind Thorleif Haug’s winning performance 4 years earlier.

The Norwegian Ole Hegge was in front in the first stage of the race, but at 15 km. Per-Erik Hedlund, a strong lumberjack from Särna, equaled Hegge’s intermediate time, and from then on the Swedes, apparently having done a better job with their skis, totally dominated the race. Hedlund, who was not able to finish the 50 km. in Chamonix four years earlier, opened up a substantial lead, at the 35 km. mark he was almost eight minutes ahead of his fellow countryman Gustaf Jonsson, followed by substitute Volger Andersson another 1:30 behind the leader. Hedlund took his time to stop and prepare his skis, certainly a wise decision, since he was then able to expand his lead substantially. The Norwegians and Finns were really struggling, Hegge was already almost 22 minutes behind the leader, slightly ahead of the best Finn, the eldest of the Lappalainen brothers, Tauno. They were both now behind the slow starting Norwegian Olav Kjelbotn, who had advanced from a modest 11th place to 4th, but without being able to catch up on the Swedish trio. Hedlund won the race with the biggest margin in Olympic skiing history, 13:27 ahead of silver medalist Jonsson, who was slightly ahead of the surprise bronze medalist, the substitute Andersson. The early leader Hegge struggled gallantly in to 5th place, over 25 minutes behind Hedlund, but was able to beat the best of the Finns, Tauno Lappalainen, by half a minute. One of the most demanding events in the history of the Winter Olympics was over.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R I4T I4R I5T I5R I6T I6R I7T I7R
1 Per Erik Hedlund 30 Sweden SWE Gold 4-52:03 24:49 3 48:24 =2 1-20:00 =1 1-42:30 1 2-10:02 1 3-41:22 1 4-25:35 1
2 Gustaf Jonsson 24 Sweden SWE Silver 5-05:30 25:22 8 49:49 4 1-23:15 =5 1-46:30 4 2-14:00 =3 3-49:10 2 4-36:22 2
3 Volger Andersson 32 Sweden SWE Bronze 5-05:46 24:47 2 48:24 =2 1-21:00 3 1-45:00 2 2-13:02 2 3-50:48 3 4-37:04 3
4 Olav Kjelbotn 29 Norway NOR 5-14:22 25:40 =10 51:00 11 1-25:30 10 1-51:20 10 2-20:03 =8 3-57:19 4 4-44:22 4
5 Ole Hegge 29 Norway NOR 5-17:58 23:54 1 48:00 1 1-20:00 =1 1-45:07 3 2-17:04 6 4-03:16 6 4-49:04 6
6 Tauno Lappalainen 29 Finland FIN 5-18:33 25:45 12 50:48 =9 1-23:15 =5 1-47:30 6 2-14:00 =3 4-03:36 7 4-48:40 5
7 Anders Ström 26 Sweden SWE 5-21:54 25:08 5 50:00 =5 1-23:52 7 1-49:28 7 2-19:08 7 4-02:00 5 4-51:02 7
8 Johan Støa 27 Norway NOR 5-25:30 25:40 =10 50:24 8 1-24:30 8 1-50:35 9 2-20:03 =8 4-05:17 8 4-54:04 8
9 Martti Lappalainen 25 Finland FIN 5-30:09 24:53 4 50:00 =5 1-24:31 9 1-50:30 8 2-21:10 10 4-15:10 11 4-59:23 9
10 Otto Wahl 23 Germany GER 5-34:02 25:20 7 50:48 =9 1-26:20 11 1-52:40 11 2-25:22 16 4-17:08 14 5-05:52 12
11 Josef Německý 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 5-35:46 27:02 19 53:00 =16 1-28:00 =13 1-53:30 14 2-29:02 22 4-15:30 12 5-05:51 11
12 Hans Bauer 24 Germany GER 5-36:21 26:55 =17 53:00 =16 1-28:00 =13 1-55:00 16 2-25:04 15 4-18:37 16 5-07:25 16
13 Andrzej Krzeptowski II 25 Poland POL 5-36:55 26:31 14 53:00 =16 1-28:00 =13 1-53:00 =12 2-23:00 11 4-10:51 9 5-02:46 10
14 Franz Donth Czechoslovakia TCH 5-37:36 26:54 16 53:24 19 1-28:45 =17 1-55:51 19 2-27:05 20 4-18:17 15 5-07:20 15
15 Walter Bussmann 23 Switzerland SUI 5-38:49 25:35 9 52:00 =13 1-28:45 =17 1-54:12 15 2-27:03 =18 4-14:25 10 5-06:54 13
16 Fritz Pellkofer 25 Germany GER 5-41:00 29:10 31 57:00 =27 1-32:30 24 1-58:55 21 2-29:01 21 4-18:55 18 5-09:55 17
17 Robert Wampfler 32 Switzerland SUI 5-42:40 26:55 =17 52:00 =13 1-27:00 12 1-53:00 =12 2-25:03 14 4-15:46 13 5-07:05 14
18 Václav Fišera 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 5-42:55 27:51 24 55:00 23 1-32:00 23 1-59:45 22 2-24:02 12 4-24:15 21 5-11:24 18
19 Józef Bujak 29 Poland POL 5-44:19 29:51 34 57:36 30 1-36:45 30 2-06:10 29 2-39:02 28 4-24:00 20 5-12:53 19
20 Matthäus Demetz 18 Italy ITA 5-47:47 27:41 23 54:12 21 1-29:01 20 1-55:38 17 2-27:03 =18 4-23:26 19 5-16:33 21
21 Ferdinando Glück Italy ITA 5-49:52 27:36 21 54:00 20 1-29:00 19 1-55:45 18 2-25:01 13 4-18:44 17 5-13:36 20
22 Carlo Gourlaouen 28 Switzerland SUI 5-55:09 28:00 25 57:24 29 1-35:00 28 2-04:15 28 2-39:32 29 4-29:25 23 5-21:58 22
23 Joško Janša 27 Yugoslavia YUG 5-58:09 28:39 28 56:00 26 1-34:32 27 2-02:40 25 2-36:04 26 4-33:30 25 5-26:23 23
24 Minoru Nagata Japan JPN 6-02:24 28:57 30 57:48 31 1-35:13 29 2-03:04 26 2-34:24 25 4-31:05 24 5-29:07 24
25 Subaru Takahashi 25 Japan JPN 6-05:25 29:38 33 58:36 33 1-39:05 31 2-09:19 30 2-46:34 30 4-36:22 26 5-33:17 25
26 Sakuta Takefushi 21 Japan JPN 6-08:50 30:25 37 1-02:36 38 1-42:45 =32 2-13:35 32 2-49:05 31 4-39:54 28 5-34:35 26
27 Franciszek Kawa 26 Poland POL 6-11:08 28:15 27 55:36 25 1-33:32 25 2-00:13 24 2-32:04 23 4-38:56 27 5-35:13 27
28 Stane Kmet Yugoslavia YUG 6-32:07 31:07 39 1-01:36 37 1-43:45 35 2-16:00 33 2-55:04 33 4-58:30 29 5-57:57 28
29 Janko Janša Yugoslavia YUG 6-34:59 30:05 35 59:48 35 1-42:45 =32 2-12:57 31 2-51:25 32 5-05:14 30 6-00:00 29
30 Stane Bervar 22 Yugoslavia YUG 6-46:48 31:54 41 1-04:00 40 1-46:30 =36 2-20:50 36 3-03:35 35 5-12:42 31 6-12:40 30
AC Josef Feistauer 34 Czechoslovakia TCH 27:34 20 54:24 22 1-30:05 22 1-57:15 20 2-26:19 17 4-24:30 22 DNF
AC Matti Raivio 34 Finland FIN 25:18 6 50:01 7 1-22:00 4 1-47:00 5 2-16:05 5 DNF
AC John Røen 24 Norway NOR 26:45 15 52:36 15 1-29:30 21 2-00:05 23 2-34:05 24 DNF
AC Takeji Aso 28 Japan JPN 27:40 22 55:12 24 1-34:30 26 2-03:15 27 2-38:04 27 DNF
AC Henri Milan France FRA 30:11 36 59:36 34 1-43:30 34 2-17:09 34 3-01:23 34 DNF
AC Évariste Prat France FRA 31:23 40 1-03:12 39 1-46:30 =36 2-25:53 37 3-09:28 36 DNF
AC Hans Zeier 29 Switzerland SUI 28:50 29 1-07:24 41 1-48:30 38 2-18:16 35 DNF
AC Adiel Paananen 31 Finland FIN 25:52 13 51:02 12 1-28:00 =13 DNF
AC Stanisław Wilczyński 27 Poland POL 28:10 26 57:00 =27 1-53:45 39 DNF
AC Camille Médy 25 France FRA 29:33 32 58:24 32 DNF
AC Jean Camille Tournier France FRA 30:34 38 1-01:24 36 DNF