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Cross Country Skiing at the 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Games:

Men's 15 kilometres

Cross Country Skiing at the 1956 Winter Games: Next Winter Games

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Host City: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Venue(s): Snow Stadium, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Date Started: January 30, 1956
Date Finished: January 30, 1956

Gold: NOR Hallgeir Brenden
Silver: SWE Sixten Jernberg
Bronze: URS Pavel Kolchin

Summary

The shortest distance on the Olympic cross country skiing program was now reduced from 18 km. to 15 km., and for the first time in Olympic history the Nordic Combined participants were not taking part in the event concurrently. The Finns, who had taken all the medals at the 1954 World Championships with Veikko Hakulinen winning, was favored among most of the experts. But the defending champion from 1952, Hallgeir Brenden of Norway, was eager to revenge his disappointing 14th place in the 30 km. His form prior to Cortina had been in flux – at times he looked superb but a toe injury in December had slowed him and he had not won any of the Norwegian selection races. The Soviet skiers were considered better on the longer distances.

On a foggy and snowy day, Brenden starting first among the favourites, and took the lead after 5 km., 13 seconds ahead of Vladimir Kuzin with Sixten Jernberg one second behind Kuzin. Hakulinen was seventh, 25 seconds behind. During the following 5 km., Brenden increased his lead. At 10 km. he was 21 seconds ahead of Pavel Kolchin, who had advanced from fourth place at 5 km. Jernberg, still in contention for a medal, was nine seconds behind Kolchin, but Kuzin was obviously in trouble, falling back to fourth place.

At the finish, Soviet skier Nikolay Anikin, who started 18th, had the best time until Martin Stokken was able to take the lead. Brenden was able to keep his speed and finished with a time over one minute better than Stokken. Kolchin was able to stay ahead of Hakulinen and was in silver medal position, but Jernberg with his late start number of 56, had a good finish and secured his second silver medal, three seconds better than Kolchin.

Hallgeir Brenden, a 26-year-old lumberjack from Trysil, had defended his title, the first cross-country skier to do this at the Olympics. He was an outspoken and extremely popular man, and the picture of him with Italian movie star Sophia Loren on his knee went all over the world and contributed to his rising international fame.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R
1 Hallgeir Brenden 26 Norway NOR Gold 49:39 14:45 1 35:28 1
2 Sixten Jernberg 26 Sweden SWE Silver 50:14 14:58 3 35:58 3
3 Pavel Kolchin 26 Soviet Union URS Bronze 50:17 15:03 4 35:49 2
4 Veikko Hakulinen 31 Finland FIN 50:31 15:10 7 36:04 5
5 Håkon Brusveen 28 Norway NOR 50:36 15:24 9 36:17 =7
6 Martin Stokken 33 Norway NOR 50:45 15:23 8 36:17 =7
7 Nikolay Anikin 24 Soviet Union URS 50:58 15:06 5 36:07 6
8 Lennart Larsson 25 Sweden SWE 51:03 15:29 =11 36:30 9
9 Arvo Viitanen 31 Finland FIN 51:10 15:09 6 36:32 10
10 Vladimir Kuzin 25 Soviet Union URS 51:36 14:57 2 36:00 4
11 Ottavio Compagnoni 29 Italy ITA 51:42 15:33 13 36:57 12
12 Per-Erik Larsson 26 Sweden SWE 51:44 15:29 =11 36:45 11
13 Ilja Matouš 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 52:04 15:34 14 37:36 16
14 Veikko Räsänen 27 Finland FIN 52:35 15:28 10 37:11 13
15 Gunnar Samuelsson 28 Sweden SWE 52:39 15:48 18 37:32 15
16 Tadeusz Kwapień 32 Poland POL 52:45 15:38 =15 37:47 17
17 Federico De Florian 34 Italy ITA 52:48 15:45 17 38:02 18
18 Minnevali Galiyev Soviet Union URS 52:49 15:38 =15 37:17 14
19 Clarence Servold 28 Canada CAN 53:34 16:00 =19 38:20 21
20T Jean Mermet 24 France FRA 53:40 16:00 =19 38:05 19
20T Werner Zwingli 29 Switzerland SUI 53:40 16:08 =25 38:36 25
22 Benoît Carrara 29 France FRA 53:41 16:29 35 38:29 =22
23 Andrzej Mateja 20 Poland POL 53:42 16:05 22 38:16 20
24 Pompeo Fattor 22 Italy ITA 53:45 16:08 =25 38:33 24
25 Innocenzo Chatrian 28 Italy ITA 53:46 16:12 29 38:40 26
26 Arto Tiainen 25 Finland FIN 54:11 16:06 23 38:29 =22
27 Kuno Werner 30 Germany GER 54:18 16:10 28 38:59 30
28 Sepp Schneeberger 36 Austria AUT 54:21 16:19 =32 38:42 27
29 Siegfried Weiß 22 Germany GER 54:29 16:15 30 38:55 29
30 Magnar Ingebrigtsli 23 Norway NOR 54:30 16:19 =32 39:11 31
31 Rudi Kopp 29 Germany GER 54:31 16:16 31 38:45 28
32 Manole Aldescu 26 Romania ROU 54:40 16:21 34 39:21 35
33 Victor Kronig 22 Switzerland SUI 54:43 16:07 24 39:13 32
34 Józef Rubiś 24 Poland POL 54:47 16:31 37 39:19 33
35 Karl Rafreider 38 Austria AUT 54:51 16:43 =43 39:20 34
36T Josef Prokeš 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 55:05 16:03 21 39:29 36
36T Michel Rey 23 Switzerland SUI 55:05 16:30 36 39:52 39
38 Erwin Hari 22 Switzerland SUI 55:06 16:09 27 39:32 37
39 Hermann Mayr 26 Austria AUT 55:51 16:42 =41 40:15 43
40 Constantin Enache 27 Romania ROU 56:06 16:43 =43 40:03 40
41 Mack Miller 24 United States USA 56:08 16:42 =41 40:08 42
42 Jaroslav Cardal 36 Czechoslovakia TCH 56:12 16:32 38 39:48 38
43 Zdravko Hlebanja 26 Yugoslavia YUG 56:32 16:40 40 40:39 47
44 Józef Gąsienica Sobczak 21 Poland POL 56:39 16:58 49 40:07 41
45 Janez Pavčič 27 Yugoslavia YUG 56:41 16:36 39 40:30 45
46 Helmut Hagg 23 Germany GER 56:50 16:51 47 40:37 46
47 Cveto Pavčič 22 Yugoslavia YUG 56:55 16:56 48 40:43 48
48 Tatsuo Miyao 27 Japan JPN 56:59 16:45 =45 41:08 51
49 Matevž Kordež 36 Yugoslavia YUG 57:09 17:01 51 41:03 50
50 Paul Romand 25 France FRA 57:11 16:59 50 40:28 44
51 Larry Damon 22 United States USA 57:18 16:45 =45 41:17 52
52 Victor Arbez 21 France FRA 57:38 17:26 54 40:51 49
53 Dimitri Petrov 23 Bulgaria BUL 57:53 17:22 53 41:25 53
54 Zakharin Grivev 25 Bulgaria BUL 58:11 17:54 60 41:57 55
55 Jón Kristjánsson 35 Iceland ISL 58:23 17:27 55 41:30 54
56 Maurice Gover 23 Great Britain GBR 58:58 17:19 52 42:30 =56
57 Andrew Morgan 21 Great Britain GBR 59:27 17:31 56 43:08 60
58 John Moore 22 Great Britain GBR 59:31 17:47 59 42:53 59
59 Oskar Schulz 32 Austria AUT 59:56 17:41 58 42:30 =56
60 Aubrey Fielder 26 Great Britain GBR 59:59 17:35 57 42:43 58
61 Oddur Pétursson 24 Iceland ISL 1-02:36 18:53 61 44:26 61
AC Georges Gereidi Lebanon LIB DQ