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Cross Country Skiing at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games:

Men's 18 kilometres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Ski Stadium, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Date Started: February 12, 1936
Date Finished: February 12, 1936

Gold: SWE Erik Larsson
Silver: NOR Oddbjørn Hagen
Bronze: FIN Pekka Niemi

Summary

Two days after the dramatic relay competition, a record field of 75 skiers lined up for the 18 km., of which 16 were entered both for the 18 km. and the Nordic Combined. In addition another 35 skiers competed only in the combined event, making a total field for the day of 110 skiers, starting at 30 second intervals. The conditions were excellent, temperatures varying from – 2 to – 5 C.° around the course, which had an elevation change of 275 meters. The highly favored Scandinavian teams had made minor changes from their relay quartets. Most surprising perhaps, Finland had put Pekka Niemi onto the team instead of Klaes Karppinen, World Champion in the event in 1935. The Norwegians had entered the 1930 world champion [Arne Rustadstuen] instead of Sverre Brodahl, who had to be content with starting “only” in the Nordic combined. Oddbjørn Hagen and Olaf Hoffsbakken were entered for both events.

Of the early starters, Lukáš·Mihalák from Czechoslovakia was the first skier to beat 1-20 at the finish, and he was in the lead until Norway’s double world champion in Nordic Combined from 1934 and 1935, Oddbjørn Hagen, reached the finishing line in a time almost 3 and a half minutes faster. Neither Finland’s World Champion, Sulo Nurmela, nor the Swede, Martin Matsbo, could match Hagen, Matsbo finishing 1:29 behind. But the Swede Erik Larsson, nicknamed “Kiruna-Lasse” (he was a miner from Kiruna in Swedish Lapland), made the race of his life. Starting half a minute behind Rustadstuen, he caught the Norwegian early and pushed ahead mercilessly, beating Hagen’s leading time by 55 seconds. Of the late starters, Niemi was able to beat Matsbo by a scant margin and secure a bronze medal for Finland. The hero from the relay race Kalle Jalkanen, starting next to last wearing start number 111, had a bad day and could only finish in a disappointing 12th place, beaten by the Swedish Olympic champion by almost five minutes.

Larsson, only aged 23 when we won his Olympic gold, was born in a poor family in the Finnish speaking village of Kurravarra, 12 km. north-east of the mining town Kiruna. Shortly after his Olympic gold, he ended his sport career, donating his prizes and Olympic medals to his local congregation, and became a leading Laestadian Christian preacher in Kiruna. His granddaughter Åsa Larsson became one of Sweden’s most well-known crime fiction authors. Bronze medalist Niemi, born in Finnish Lapland, had a great year in 1937 when he was 50 km. World Championship. In 1938 he also won the prestigious Holmenkollen over the same distance.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Erik Larsson 23 Sweden SWE Gold 1-14:38
2 Oddbjørn Hagen 28 Norway NOR Silver 1-15:33
3 Pekka Niemi 26 Finland FIN Bronze 1-16:59
4 Martin Matsbo 24 Sweden SWE 1-17:02
5 Olaf Hoffsbakken 27 Norway NOR 1-17:37
6 Arne Rustadstuen 30 Norway NOR 1-18:13
7 Sulo Nurmela 27 Finland FIN 1-18:20
8 Artur Häggblad 27 Sweden SWE 1-18:55
9 Bjarne Iversen 23 Norway NOR 1-18:56
10 Lukáš Mihalák 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-19:01
11 František Šimůnek 25 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-19:09
12 Kalle Jalkanen 28 Finland FIN 1-19:27
13 Vincenzo Demetz 24 Italy ITA 1-20:06
14 Cyril Musil 28 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-20:14
15 Matti Lähde 24 Finland FIN 1-20:21
16 Severino Menardi 25 Italy ITA 1-20:34
17 Ivan Lindgren 29 Sweden SWE 1-21:04
18 Walter Motz 26 Germany GER 1-21:20
19 Giulio Gerardi 23 Italy ITA 1-21:25
20 Georg von Kaufmann 28 Germany GER 1-22:39
21 Gustl Berauer 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 1-23:04
22 Michał Górski 24 Poland POL 1-23:11
23 Alojz Klančnik 23 Yugoslavia YUG 1-23:18
24 Robert Gindre 24 France FRA 1-23:48
25 Franc Smolej 27 Yugoslavia YUG 1-24:03
26 August Sonderegger 24 Switzerland SUI 1-24:27
27 Toni Zeller 26 Germany GER 1-24:32
28 Harald Bosio 30 Austria AUT 1-24:39
29 Friedl Däuber 25 Germany GER 1-24:57
30 Vello Kaaristo 24 Estonia EST 1-25:11
31 Willi Bernath 21 Switzerland SUI 1-25:12
32 Marian Orlewicz 22 Poland POL 1-25:27
33 Bronisław Czech 27 Poland POL 1-25:55
34 Karl Magnus Satre 32 United States USA 1-25:56
35 Léonce Cretin 25 France FRA 1-26:11
36 Hans Jamnig 23 Austria AUT 1-26:20
37 Fernand Mermoud 22 France FRA 1-26:31
38 Avgust Jakopič 22 Yugoslavia YUG 1-26:48
39 Fred Rössner 24 Austria AUT 1-27:05
40 Dolfi Freiburghaus 25 Switzerland SUI 1-27:08
41 Franz Gallwitz 25 Austria AUT 1-27:28
42 Stanisław Karpiel 26 Poland POL 1-27:31
43 Alfred Jacomis 25 France FRA 1-27:49
44 Leon Knap 24 Yugoslavia YUG 1-28:31
45 Berger Torrissen 34 United States USA 1-29:08
46 Richard Parsons 25 United States USA 1-30:09
47 Bud Clark 25 Canada CAN 1-30:20
48 Warren Chivers 21 United States USA 1-30:25
49 Shinzo Yamada 22 Japan JPN 1-31:28
50 Pauls Kaņeps 24 Latvia LAT 1-31:44
51 Eduard Müller 24 Switzerland SUI 1-32:04
52 Raffaele Nasi 25 Italy ITA 1-32:12
53 Khristo Kochov 23 Bulgaria BUL 1-32:30
54 William Ball 27 Canada CAN 1-32:46
55 Tsutomu Sekido 20 Japan JPN 1-32:48
56 Ginzo Yamada 20 Japan JPN 1-33:17
57 Tom Mobraaten 25 Canada CAN 1-33:28
58 Herberts Dāboliņš 27 Latvia LAT 1-34:20
59 Hiroshi Tadano 22 Japan JPN 1-35:28
60 Ioan Coman 27 Romania ROU 1-36:21
61 Iosif Covaci 23 Romania ROU 1-37:23
62 Tomas Velasco 21 Spain ESP 1-37:25
63 Jesús Suárez 24 Spain ESP 1-39:12
64 Karl Johan Baadsvik 25 Canada CAN 1-39:30
65 José Oriol Canals 21 Spain ESP 1-40:14
66 Ivan Angelakov 31 Bulgaria BUL 1-41:44
67 Alberts Riekstiņš 29 Latvia LAT 1-42:16
68 Dimitar Kostov 28 Bulgaria BUL 1-42:22
69 Karlis Bukass 32 Latvia LAT 1-42:57
70 Racho Zhekov 25 Bulgaria BUL 1-43:11
71 Francis Walter 26 Great Britain GBR 1-44:13
72 Mehmut Şevket Karman 23 Turkey TUR 2-09:36
AC Dimitrios Negrepontis 20 Greece GRE DNF
AC Cemal Tigin 22 Turkey TUR DNF
AC Enrique Millán 27 Spain ESP DNF