Host City: Sankt Moritz, Switzerland
Venue(s): Olympic Ski Jumping Hill, St. Moritz
Date Started: February 7, 1948
Date Finished: February 7, 1948
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
The ski jumping event was organized on the last competition day of the 1948 Winter Olympics. For the first time in a big international competition five judges would give style points, and the highest and lowest style points were deleted. The old system included three judges, and all scores counted.
The Norwegian skiers had experienced a lot of disappointments during the 1948 Winter Olympics. Their Nordic Combined and Cross Country skiers had been able to win only one medal, bronze in the cross country relay. High expectations lay on the ski jumpers, but the Finnish, Swedish and US jumpers had impressed in the training sessions and the competition was expected to be tough.
The Norwegian team was originally selected to be Asbjørn Ruud, the youngest of the Ruud brothers, winner at Holmenkollen in 1946 and national champion in 1946 and 1948; Georg Thrane from Asker Skiklubb, winner at Holmenkollen in 1947, Petter Hugstedt, unmerited in international competitions but like the Ruud brothers also representing the famous ski jumping club Kongsberg IF. The fourth man on the team, Thorleif Schjelderup from Oslo, came second to Asbjørn Ruud at Holmenkollen in 1946. The double Olympic champion from 1932 and 1936, Birger Ruud, now aged 36, was also a member of the Norwegian team as a substitute and assistant coach. Late in the evening before the competition, the Norwegian team leaders decided to withdraw Thrane in favor of Birger Ruud, certainly after pressure from the organizers and FIS. Birger had impressed with excellent training jumps, he was extremely popular in Middle Europe, and his elder brother Sigmund was chairman of the FIS Jumping Committee. Thrane, who was informed of the decision at ten o’clock in the evening, was shocked by the message and his relations with the Ruud brothers were rather bad in the following years.
In the first round of the competition, the 20-year old Finn Matti Pietikäinen made an impressive jump of 69,5 metres and was in the lead, followed by Hugsted, Birger Ruud and Schjelderup. US jumper Gordy Wren jumped 68 metres, the second best in the first round, but lower style points placed him behind the three Norwegians. In the second round all the Norwegians jumped well. Hugstedt had the longest jump of the day, 70 metres, with 3x19.0 for his style points. Birger Ruud again showed his strong competitive instincts by taking the silver medal, and Schjelderup made the day perfect for the Norwegians by taking the bronze medal, only 0,5 points ahead of Pietikäinen.
Hugstedt was never able to win at Holmenkollen or to win a national championship title. He won the international competition in Lahti, Finland 1947, and also the open US and Canadian Championships in 1949. After placing seventh in the Lake Placid World Championships 1950 he ended his jumping career. Matti Pietikäinen had his only Olympic appearance in 1948, but eight years later he was crowned World Champion in ski jumping in Falun, Sweden.
|5||Gordy Wren||29||United States||USA||222.8|
|12||Sverre Fredheim||40||United States||USA||210.1|
|15||Joe Perrault||23||United States||USA||207.0|
|18||Bruno Da Col||34||Italy||ITA||201.2|
|30||Józef Daniel Krzeptowski||26||Poland||POL||188.9|
|36||Jan Gąsienica Ciaptak||25||Poland||POL||180.8|
|42||Walter Bietila||31||United States||USA||142.9|