Host City: Oslo, Norway
Venue(s): Holmenkoll Ski Jumping Hill, Oslo
Date Started: February 24, 1952
Date Finished: February 24, 1952
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
The ski jumping competition in Holmenkollen on the final day of the Oslo Olympics turned out to be a real “grande finale”. The number of paying spectators was 104 102, the second highest total ever for an Olympic event. Only the ski jumping competition in Garmisch 1936 had more paying spectators, approximately 106 000. In addition, around 30 000 people gathered on “Gratishaugen” (“The free-of-charge-hill”), a hillside just outside the jumping hill where people could watch the jumpers from a distance without buying tickets.
The Norweigans had big hopes for success before the competition. The favorite was Torbjørn Falkanger, winner at Holmenkollen and national champion in 1949 and 1950. Another local hero was Arne Hoel, aged 24 and from Oslo, Holmenkollen was a real home ground for him. The most dangerous opponents were thought to come from Finland, Sweden and Germany. Finland’s leading jumpers were two 19-year old boys from Rovaniemi, Antti Hyvärinen and Tauno Luiro. The latter had set a new world distance record in Oberstdort in 1951 with an impressive jump of 139 metres, a record that would remain unbeaten for 10 years. Sweden had two excellent jumpers from Kiruna, Thure Lindgren (silver medalist in the 1950 World Championship) and Karl Holmström. Germany had two excellent athletes from the ski jumping center in Oberstdorf, Bavaria in Toni Brutscher and Sepp Weiler. Weiler, a veteran aged 31, was a former Wehrmacht soldier who had lost his left eye on the Russian front during the war.
There were 44 jumpers from 13 nations entered for the competition. Arnfinn Bergmann was the lowest ranked of the Norwegian jumpers although he had a bronze medal from the 1950 World Championships. He took an early lead from his start number six with a stylish jump of 67,5 metres. Both the Swede Bror Östman and Toni Brutscher made solid jumps, but the young Finn Luiro failed badly. Nobody was able to beat Bergmann’s points before the last of the Norwegians, Falkanger was ready with start number 38. Under big ovations from the audience he landed a stylish jump safely at 68 metres, and Bergmann was relegated to second place. Later jumpers Hyvärinen and Weiler both made good jumps, but could not prevent the Norwegian double after the first round. The competition was very close as the difference in points between the first ten was only five.
In the second round, Bergmann got a perfect jump, equalling Falkanger’s 68 metres from the first round and had even better style points than his countryman. Most of the following jumpers were not able to match their distances from the first round. Östman fell, Norwegians Arne Hoel (63,5) and Halvor Næs (64,5) made good jumps and improved. Brutscher jumped 62,5 metres and equaled Næs for second place in total points. Holmström made a solid jump and took over the silver medal position. Falkanger had great pressure on his shoulders and jumped only 64 metres, but good style points kept him ahead of Holmström, although behind Bergmann. Hyvärinen, lying in bronze medal position after the first round, could do only 61,5 metres and ended up in seventh place. The end was indeed happy for the Norwegian crowd, Bergmann gold, Falkanger silver, and all four jumpers among the six best.
Both Bergmann and Falkanger continued their jumping career. Falkanger won his third Norwegian championship 1954, but fell badly at Holmenkollen in December 1955 in a qualification competition for the 1956 Winter Olympics and had to give up jumping due to his injuries. Bergmann also failed to qualify for the 1956 Winter Olympics, but won his third national championships in 1958.
|12T||Keith Wegeman||22||United States||USA||204.5|
|15||Art Devlin||29||United States||USA||201.5|
|18T||Art Tokle||29||United States||USA||199.5|
|22||Bill Olson||22||United States||USA||193.5|