Host City: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Venue(s): Ski Jump Italia, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Date Started: February 5, 1956
Date Finished: February 5, 1956
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
During the 1950-’s the ski jumping technique was changing to a more aerodynamic style, developed by the Swiss jumper Andreas Däscher. The old Kongsberg style developed in Norway after World War I, had the upper body bent at the hip, a wide forward lean, and arms extended in front of the skies parallel to each other. The Däscher style with stretched hip and arms placed backward for a closer lean reduced the air resistance and made it possible for the jumpers to improve their distance. German and Finnish jumpers were quick to adapt to the new technique, and one of the most skilled practitioners of the new technique was the best Soviet ski jumper, Georgian K’oba Ts’akadze. His body was so close to his skies that his breast almost touched the front part of his skies.
The 1956 Olympic ski jumping competition was the real breakthrough for the aerodynamic technique. In the first round, Antti Hyvärinen, seventh in the 1952 games and jumping first of the favorites, took the lead with an 81 metre jump. The 23 year old German from Oberstdorf, Max Bolkart, jumped 80 metres and equaled Hyvärinen’s points with his better style. Harry Glaß, a 25-year old from Klingenthal, East Germany, then made an excellent jump of 83,5 metres and was in the lead. Next to jump was Aulis Kallakorpi of Finland, winner at Holmenkollen in 1955. He equaled Glaß' length and was in second position, only 0,5 points behind the German. Jumping last of the 51 competitors, Andreas Däscher made a good jump of 82 metres and was in sixth position after the first round.
In the second round, Hyvärinen took an early lead with an excellent jump of 84 metres, the longest of the day. Ts’akadze, lying seventh after first round, made a gallant try to fight for a top placing, but fell after an 82,5 metre jump and was out of contention for the medals. Next of the favorites to challenge Hyvärinen’s lead was Harry Glaß, the first-round leader. He could only manage 80,5 metres and was 2,5 points behind Hyvärinen. Next to come was Kallakorpi, second-placed after the first round. He equaled Glaß’ distance, and better style points brought him into the silver medal position with the closest possible margin, only 0,5 points. It ended with a Finnish double, with an East German jumper taking the bronze medal.
For Norway, the nation who had dominated the six former Olympic jumping competitions, winning all six and taking 14 out of 18 possible medals, the result came as a shock, their best jumper placing only ninth. The Norwegians had been reluctant to adapt to the new aerodynamic style and was severely punished for this. The era of Norwegian domination in ski jumping was definitely over.
|16T||Nikolay Shamov||19||Soviet Union||URS||201.0|
|20||Andrzej Gąsienica Daniel||23||Poland||POL||198.5|
|21||Art Devlin||33||United States||USA||194.5|
|25||Roman Gąsienica Sieczka||21||Poland||POL||189.5|
|30T||K'oba Ts'akadze||21||Soviet Union||URS||185.0|
|34||Yury Moshkin||Soviet Union||URS||184.0|
|36||Roy Sherwood||23||United States||USA||183.0|
|43||Bill Olson||26||United States||USA||174.5|
|51||Dick Rahoi||21||United States||USA||158.0|