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Bobsleigh at the 1952 Oslo Winter Games:

Men's Four

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Oslo, Norway
Venue(s): Bobsleigh Track, Frognerseter, Oslo
Date Started: February 21, 1952
Date Finished: February 22, 1952
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.

Gold: GER Germany
Silver: USA United States-1
Bronze: SUI Switzerland-1

Summary

On the form shown during 1949 and 1950 the Olympic title should have been decided between the USA, probably in the form of Stan Benham’s crew and one of the Swiss crews but the events of the 1951 World Championships changed that perception of events. Despite local opposition in Alpe d'Huez Germany was readmitted to that year’s championships and the heavyweight crew piloted by Andreas Ostler walked away with the gold medals.

During training runs on the Olympic course both German teams surprisingly struggled and looks set to miss the medal positions. The decision was made to withdrew one of their teams and enter a composite crew made of the two man champions Ostler and Nieberl, together with the two heaviest members of the other German foursome. This proved to be a winning combination and the crew posted the fastest time of all four runs to win the championships and Ostler became the first man to do the two man / four man double at an Olympic Games. A film “Schwere Jungs” based very loosely on this story was released in Germany in 2007. In third place was the team piloted by multiple world champion Fritz Feierabend who won his fifth Olympic medal but was never to become Olympic champion.

Fifteen teams contested the event after the withdrawal of the Belgian team following a practice accident.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal T
1 Germany GER Gold 5:07.84
2 United States-1 USA Silver 5:10.48
3 Switzerland-1 SUI Bronze 5:11.70
4 Switzerland-2 SUI 5:13.98
5 Austria-1 AUT 5:14.74
6 Sweden-1 SWE 5:15.01
7 Sweden-2 SWE 5:17.86
8 Argentina ARG 5:18.85
9 United States-2 USA 5:19.68
10 Italy-1 ITA 5:19.92
11 France FRA 5:20.74
12 Norway-1 NOR 5:21.36
13 Norway-2 NOR 5:24.47
14 Italy-2 ITA 5:25.98
AC Austria-2 AUT DNF