Host City: Squaw Valley, United States
Venue(s): McKinney Creek Stadium, Tahoma, California; Olympic Jumping Hill, Squaw Valley, California
Date Started: February 21, 1960
Date Finished: February 22, 1960
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 15 kilometres skiing; placements determined by points table.
Defending Olympic Champion Sverre Stenersen had shown consistency after 1956, taking the silver medal at the 1958 World Championships and winning at Holmenkollen in 1959. His teammate, Tormod Knutsen, younger by five years but the National Champion in 1959-60 and winner at Holmenkollen in 1958, was considered as Norway’s gold favorite for the 1960 Olympics. Finland’s 1958 World Champion, Paavo Korhonen, was an excellent cross-country skier, but his jumping was very variable and he was depending on two good jumps to be able to fight for the medals.
The Nordic Combination started with the ski jumping event as in the last two Winter Olympic Games. Georg Thoma, a 22-year-old from Hinterzarten in West Germany, won the jumping event ahead of Soviet Union’s Dmitry Kochkin and the Japanese Yosuke Eto, but all three were considered too weak in the cross-country event to contend for the gold medal. Thoma had recently won the West-German championships in ski jumping. Tormod Knutsen, lying fourth after the jumping event, was considered as the main favorite for the gold. World Champion Paavo Korhonen, placing only a modest 24th, seemed out of contention.
The cross-country race on the next day produced some surprising results. George Thoma skied well and produced the fourth fastest time of the day, holding off Tormod Knutsen and won the gold medal with a clear margin over his Norwegian opponent. Nikolay Gusakov of the Soviet Union, a 25-year old Karelian married to 10 km Olympic Champion Mariya Gusakova, was the fastest skier of the day and advanced from tenth place in the jumping event into bronze medal position. Pekka Ristola from Finland placed sixth in both events and advanced to fourth place, ahead of Kochkin, who produced a decent cross-country race but could not defend his silver position from the jumping event.
Georg Thoma, after his breakthrough at the 1960 Olympics, emerged as one of the greatest all-time athletes in Nordic Combined. He won the Holmenkollen event in 1963, 1964 and 1965, and crowned his skiing career as World Champion in the same arena in 1966. He won another Olympic medal by placing third at the 1964 Games in Innsbruck.
|3||Nikolay Gusakov||25||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze||452.000|
|5||Dmitry Kochkin||25||Soviet Union||URS||447.694|
|12||Mikhail Pryakin||24||Soviet Union||URS||432.952|
|16||Leonid Fyodorov||31||Soviet Union||URS||427.548|
|26||Alfred Vincelette, Jr.||24||United States||USA||395.274|
|27||Ted Farwell, Jr.||29||United States||USA||386.694|
|29||John Cress||25||United States||USA||375.306|
|30||Craig Lussi||23||United States||USA||361.919|