Host City: Oslo, Norway
Venue(s): Holmenkoll Ski Jumping Hill, Oslo; Holmenkollen Cross Country Centre, Oslo
Date Started: February 17, 1952
Date Finished: February 18, 1952
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 18 kilometres skiing; placements determined by points table.
The Olympic Champion from 1948, Heikki Hasu, won another gold medal at the World Championships in Lake Placid in 1950, but this time things went better for the Norwegians: Ottar Gjermundshaug placed 2nd and Simon Slåttvik 3rd, the other Norwegians placing 4th and 6th. Slåttvik had emerged as Hasu’s closest rival, winning the prestigious Holmenkollen Nordic Combined both in 1950 and 1951 and beating Hasu on both occations. In 1950 is was a very close contest, but in 1951 Hasu fell in two of his three jumps and was out of contention for the victory. Slåttvik had now moved from his birthplace in Nordland to Lillehammer, which made it much easier for him to train and participate in important competitions.
At the Olympic Games in Oslo, the schedule of events for the Nordic Combined had changed. For the first time the ski jumping was the first part of the competition, and the 18 km cross country part was scheduled the day after, and as usual combined with the specialist’s race.
The audience of almost 30 000 held their breath when home favorite Slåttvik fell in his first jump measuring 67.5 m, the longest in the first round. The two best jumps of three counted, and the pressure was on Slåttvik. He produced two excellent jumps in superb style and ended as winner of the jumping event, 0.5 point better than his countryman Sverre Stenersen, a 25 year old newcomer to the team and like Slåttvik also from the northern part of Norway. Stenersen had the longest jump of the day, jumping 69.5 m in the 3rd round. Hasu, however, jumped better than expected and placed 5th in the event. He had to beat Slåttvik with 4.32 minutes in the cross country, and that was considered quite possible since Hasu was an excellent cross country skier, a medal candidate among the specialist.
Hasu again made an excellent 18 km, missing the bronze medal among the specialist with only 4 seconds and beating his closest rival among the Nordic Combined participants, his countryman Paavo Korhonen, with over 3 minutes. Slåttvik, however, made his best cross country competition ever. With massive support from an enthusiastic home crowd, he crossed the finish line with a time only 3.16 behind Hasu, placing 3rd in the cross country and winning the Olympic gold with a clear margin. Stenersen was able to keep ahead of Korhonen and secured the bronze, even if he was beaten by Hasu with over 7 minutes.
|11||Theodore Farwell, Jr.||21||United States||USA||401.454|
|19||Cornel Nicolae Crăciun||26||Romania||ROU||376.621|
|21||Tom Jacobs||25||United States||USA||367.439|
|22||John Caldwell||23||United States||USA||301.773|
|AC||Paul Wegeman||24||United States||USA||DNF|