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Ski Jumping at the 1952 Oslo Winter Games:

Men's Normal Hill, Individual

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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.

Gold: NOR Arnfinn Bergmann
Silver: NOR Torbjørn Falkanger
Bronze: SWE Karl Holmström

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Arnfinn Bergmann 23 Norway NOR Gold 226.0
2 Torbjørn Falkanger 24 Norway NOR Silver 221.5
3 Karl Holmström 26 Sweden SWE Bronze 219.5
4T Toni Brutscher 26 Germany GER 216.5
4T Halvor Næs 23 Norway NOR 216.5
6 Arne Hoel 24 Norway NOR 215.5
7 Antti Hyvärinen 19 Finland FIN 213.5
8T Sepp Weiler 31 Germany GER 213.0
8T Pentti Uotinen 20 Finland FIN 213.0
10 Sepp Kleisl 23 Germany GER 208.0
11 Hans Nordin 21 Sweden SWE 206.5
12T Olavi Kuronen 29 Finland FIN 204.5
12T Keith Wegeman 22 United States USA 204.5
14 Walter Steinegger 23 Austria AUT 202.0
15 Art Devlin 29 United States USA 201.5
16T Janez Polda 27 Yugoslavia YUG 200.5
16T Andreas Däscher 24 Switzerland SUI 200.5
18T Art Tokle 29 United States USA 199.5
18T Tauno Luiro 19 Finland FIN 199.5
20 Hans Däscher 21 Switzerland SUI 198.5
21 Rudi Dietrich 22 Austria AUT 198.0
22 Bill Olson 22 United States USA 193.5
23 Jacques Perreten 24 Switzerland SUI 193.0
24 Antoni Wieczorek 27 Poland POL 191.0
25 Jacques Charland 21 Canada CAN 190.0
26 Fritz Schneider 23 Switzerland SUI 189.5
27T Stanisław Marusarz 38 Poland POL 189.0
27T Tatsuo Watanabe 23 Japan JPN 189.0
29T Karel Klančnik 34 Yugoslavia YUG 188.5
29T Hans Eder 24 Austria AUT 188.5
31 Franz Dengg 23 Germany GER 187.5
32 Bror Östman 23 Sweden SWE 187.0
33 Jakub Węgrzynkiewicz 23 Poland POL 185.0
34 Ryoichi Fujisawa 24 Japan JPN 183.5
35 Ari Guðmundsson 24 Iceland ISL 183.0
36T Hiroshi Yoshizawa 20 Japan JPN 182.5
36T André Monnier 25 France FRA 182.5
38 Régis Rey 22 France FRA 181.5
39 Leopold Tajner 30 Poland POL 178.0
40 Thure Lindgren 30 Sweden SWE 175.5
41 Lucien Laferté 32 Canada CAN 162.5
42 Kozo Kawashima 25 Japan JPN 148.0
43 Henri Thiollière 29 France FRA 142.5
AC Sepp Bradl 34 Austria AUT DNF