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.