Host City: Squaw Valley, United States
Venue(s): McKinney Creek Stadium, Tahoma, California
Date Started: February 23, 1960
Date Finished: February 23, 1960
The Norwegian cross country skiers had several bad seasons after the 1956 Games. In the world Championships in Lahti, Finland in 1958, they came home with no medals, their best individual placing was fifth in the 15 km race, achieved by Håkon Brusveen.
At the first Norwegian selection races Brusveen was not at his best, but showed better form in the last race when placing fourth in the Norwegian Championships in 15km, only 11 seconds behind the winner Brenden. The Norwegian Olympic Committee selected seven cross country skiers for Squaw Valley. Brusveen was appointed as a substitute who should stay at home in Norway, to Brusveen’s great disappointment and loud protests in the Norwegian media. An extra selection race over 12 km was decided, only two days before the team should leave for Squaw Valley. Brusveen showed superior form and won, over 40 seconds ahead of double Olympic champion Hallgeir Brenden. The sports enthusiast King Olav V told the NOC that he would like to see Brusveen in the Olympics, and the decision was changed. Brusveen, aged 33, and having already decided that 1960 would be his last season, travelled to the US one the day after the main team had left Oslo.
The 15 km race took place four days after the 30 km race, which ended with another disappointment for the Norwegians, Brenden as their best, placing only ninth. Brusveen was then selected for the 15km team, starting with number 20 out of 54 competitors. After 5 km it looked to be another great day for Sweden. Janne Stefansson was in the lead, three seconds ahead of Sixten Jernberg, with Rolf Rämgård another four seconds behind. It was very close, Gennady Vaganov following only one second behind Rämgård, and with Brusveen in sixth place, still in contention for a medal, 17 seconds behind the leader. At 10 km things had changed. Jernberg was now in the lead, but only two seconds ahead of fast charging Brusveen and Veikko Hakulinen, the Finn showing better form than in the 30 km. Stefansson was down in fourth place, 16 seconds behind.
The final stage of the race developed into a real thriller. Brusveen was first to finish of the medal favorites. He finished his race in excellent style and bettered Stefansson’s leading time by more than 50 seconds. Hakulinen could not respond to Brusveen’s finishing speed. The last challenger was Jernberg. The gold medalist from the 30 km race could not match Brusveen’s finish, but secured his sixth Olympic medal, only 3.1 seconds behind the overjoyed Olympic Champion Brusveen.
Håkon Brusveen was later to become an extremely popular radio commentator, for many years giving intermediate reports from out on the cross country track at national and international championships via a portable radio transmission set.
|4T||Gennady Vaganov||23||Soviet Union||URS||52:18.0||17:18||=14||35:51||=6|
|9||Marcello De Dorigo||22||Italy||ITA||52:53.5||17:26||16||36:14||=11|
|10||Nikolay Anikin||28||Soviet Union||URS||52:55.0||17:11||8||36:10||10|
|15||Aleksandr Gubin||24||Soviet Union||URS||53:29.1||17:18||=14||36:33||15|
|16||Pavel Morshchinin||Soviet Union||URS||53:36.6||17:28||17||36:49||17|
|22||Mack Miller||28||United States||USA||54:49.0||17:55||26||37:29||=21|
|41||Józef Gut Misiaga||20||Poland||POL||58:03.6||17:54||25||39:05||37|
|44||John Moore||26||Great Britain||GBR||58:35.0||19:05||45||39:52||44|
|46||Peter Lahdenpera||24||United States||USA||59:13.0||19:15||46||40:23||45|
|48||Olavi Hirvonen||29||United States||USA||1-00:38.6||19:57||50||41:32||48|
|49||Andrew Morgan||25||Great Britain||GBR||1-01:32.9||19:46||49||42:18||49|
|50||Charlie Akers||20||United States||USA||1-02:35.7||19:41||48||42:29||50|
|52||Norman Shutt||30||Great Britain||GBR||1-07:34.0||21:21||51||46:04||52|
|54||Kim Ha-Yun||South Korea||KOR||1-15:26.5||24:21||54||51:22||54|