Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 13, 1932
Date Finished: February 13, 1932
One of the big problems for the organizers of the 1932 Winter Games was the lack of snow. The mild weather during and after the 18 km. race melted the snow away in the open areas, and only in the forest was there enough snow to make a cross country track. Therefore it was decided to make a 25 km. track for the 50 km., to be skied in two laps, with the start and finish area moved into the forest, several kilometers away from the nearest dwellings. During the race the temperature was around zero, and the conditions were acceptable in spite of the thin layer of snow.
Early on it turned out to be a Finnish day. At the first lap Veli Saarinen was in the lead, one minute in front of his countryman Väinö Liikkanen, followed by Sweden’s Sven Utterström and three Norwegians: Arne Rustadstuen, Sigurd Vestad and Ole Hegge, who was 5th at the distance in St. Moritz four years earlier. Hegge had already lost five minutes to the leader Saarinen. On the second lap Utterström faded. At the end an exhausted Saarinen was able to cling to the lead ahead of fast finishing Liikkanen and won by a margin of 20 seconds. Hegge had the fastest second lap of all skiers, but was not able to catch Rustadstuen in the battle for the bronze medal. Rustadstuen started three minutes behind Hegge, and was able to better his countryman’s time by 11 seconds. Veli Saarinen’s gold medal was the first ever won by a Finn in an Olympic skiing event.
|15||Richard Parsons||21||United States||USA||5-13:59|
|19||Nils Backstrom||30||United States||USA||5-25:40|
|20||Robert Reid, Sr.||33||United States||USA||5-26:06|
|AC||Nort Billings||27||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Francesco De Zulian||23||Italy||ITA||DNF|