Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Cross Country Skiing Stadium, Seefeld
Date Started: February 7, 1964
Date Finished: February 7, 1964
In the two earlier games with the cross country relay for women on the program, the highly favored Soviet women had surprisingly not been able to win a gold medal. In 1956 they lost to Finland, and in 1960 Sweden took a most unexpected gold medal. The Soviets had won three World Championships in a row, in 1954, 1958 and 1962, and were also the big favorite for the gold medal this time.
And this time the relay went on as expected. The experienced Alevtina Kolchina made no mistakes on the first leg and had a 36 seconds lead over Sweden’s Barbro Martinsson. at the first exchange. But Finland’s young Senja Pusula ran into trouble on her first leg and reached the exchange in fourth place, almost two and a half minutes behind the leader and 1:11 behind Germany in third place. Yevdokiya Mekshilo and double Olympic Champion Klavdiya Boyarskikh increased the Soviet lead on the last two legs, and the Soviet Union won the gold with a comfortable margin, over two minutes ahead of Sweden. On the second leg, Finland’s Toini Pöysti was able to overtake Germany, and Finland secured the bronze medal almost two minutes ahead of Germany, but 1:18 behind Sweden.