Host City: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Venue(s): Ski Jump Italia, Cortina d'Ampezzo; Snow Stadium, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Date Started: January 29, 1956
Date Finished: January 31, 1956
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 15 kilometres skiing; placements determined by points table.
|Bronze:||Franciszek Gąsienica Groń|
Defending champion Simon Slåttvik chose to end his skiing career after the 1955 season at the age of 37. After winning the Holmenkollen Nordic Combined in 1953, his rival Heikki Hasu also quit top sports. Led by bronze medallist from 1952, Sverre Stenersen, Norway took the first five placings in the World Championships in Falun 1954, and the Norwegians seemed to have regained their supremacy in the event. Their most serious rivals in the Cortina Olympics were supposed to be the Finns, their best being Paavo Korhonen and Eeti Nieminen.
In the opening ski jumping event Stenersen made his countrymen shaky with a bad first jump, placing him on a very modest 19th place after the first round. A totally unknown Soviet skier, Yury Moshkin, surprised everybody by taking a clear lead. In the second round, Moshkin fell after the longest jump of the day (79.5 m), but Stenersen regained confidence after achieving the highest point score of the round. In the third round Stenersen again mad a solid jump, but could not prevent Moshkin from winning the jumping competition with Stenersen and the 25 year old Swede Bengt Eriksson following closely as 2nd and 3rd. The other Norwegians, placing 10-15-26 seemed out of the medal contention, like Korhonen, placing 17.
The cross country event, now competed 2 days after the ski jumping and with the length reduced from 18 to 15 km, was for the first time in Olympic history organized as a separate event, not as earlier integrated with the specialist’s race. It turned out to be the race of the life for Stenersen, and to everybody’s surprise the jumping specialist won the event 14 second ahead of Korhonen. Moshkin appeared to be no match at all, he was beaten by Stenersen by 8 minutes and fell down to 13th place in the final standing. Stenersen won with a large margin, but the struggle for the other medals was very close. Eriksson, later nicknamed “Silver-Bengt” for his Olympic achievement, held on for silver, and another great surprise, the 24-year old Pole Franciszek Gąsienica Groń was able to snatch the bronze medal ahead of Korhonen. Four nations finished among the first four in the final standing, something totally new in this event.
|3||Franciszek Gąsienica Groń||24||Poland||POL||Bronze||436.800|
|7||Nikolay Gusakov||21||Soviet Union||URS||432.300|
|10||Leonid Fyodorov||27||Soviet Union||URS||429.500|
|13||Yury Moshkin||Soviet Union||URS||426.600|
|23||Marvin Crawford||23||United States||USA||412.900|
|26||Uno Kajak||22||Soviet Union||URS||409.100|
|29||Józef Daniel Krzeptowski||34||Poland||POL||396.100|
|30||Theodore Farwell, Jr.||25||United States||USA||394.000|
|34||Charles Tremblay||25||United States||USA||378.000|
|35||Buck Levy||24||United States||USA||365.600|