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Nordic Combined at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Men's Individual

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Cross Country Skiing Stadium, Seefeld; Nordic Combined Ski Jump, Seefeld
Date Started: February 2, 1964
Date Finished: February 3, 1964
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 15 kilometres skiing; placements determined by points table.

Gold: NOR Tormod Knutsen
Silver: URS Nikolay Kiselyov
Bronze: GER Georg Thoma

Summary

Defending champion Georg Thoma was regarded as the main favorite together with the silver medalist from 1960, Tormod Knutsen. Thoma was injured during the ski jumping competition at the 1962 World Championships and was out for the rest of the season, but came back strongly in 1963, winning at Holmenkollen and beating his arch rival Knutsen into second place. Knutsen was a very consistent competitor, but was still hunting for a major international win. At the 1962 World Championships he placed fourth, clearly behind the winner Arne Larsen. Larsen was normally an excellent jumper, winning the Norwegian Championships in ski jumping 1962, but when he trained harder to improve his cross country abilities, his jumping skills seemed to diminish during the 1963 and 1964 seasons.

The ski jumping part of the Nordic Combined took place on the Normal Hill in Seefeld with Thoma as the winner, but Knutsen, placing second, needed only 12 seconds to beat Thoma in the cross country event. The Soviet Union’s Nikolay Kiselyov came third in the jumping event, but was considered too weak in the cross country to fight for a medal. The bronze medalist of 1960 Nikolay Gusakov, seemed to be a better Soviet medal prospect after placing seventh in the ski jumping. Arne Larsen was disappointed with his 17th place in the jumping event, and the World Champion seemed to be out of contention for a medal.

In the 15 km cross country event Knutsen had a 31 seconds lead over Thoma by 5 km and at the finish he had beaten his rival with a clear margin, 1:33. Thoma had a bad day on the cross country track. He had trouble with his wax, and fell twice during the race. Kiselyov surprised with an excellent cross country race, beating Thoma by 42 seconds and taking the silver medal by a very small margin. Gusakov also made a good race and advanced from seventh to fourth place. Arne Larsen turned out to be the third fastest skier of the day and advanced from 17th to fifth place in the final standings. The Swiss Alois Kälin was clearly the fastest skier of the day, winning the cross country 1:28 ahead of his closest rival. Kälin could only place place 28 out of 32 competitors in the jumping event, but advanced to a final 12th position through his excellent cross country race.

Thoma got revenge over Knutsen by winning at Holmenkollen later in the season, where Knutsen was a distant sixth. Then the 32-year-old Norwegian ended his career, his old dream of an Olympic gold medal had come true.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Tormod Knutsen 32 Norway NOR Gold 469.28
2 Nikolay Kiselyov 24 Soviet Union URS Silver 453.04
3 Georg Thoma 26 Germany GER Bronze 452.88
4 Nikolay Gusakov 29 Soviet Union URS 449.36
5 Arne Larsen 26 Norway NOR 430.63
6 Arne Barhaugen 32 Norway NOR 425.63
7 Vyacheslav Dryagin 23 Soviet Union URS 422.75
8 Ezio Damolin 19 Italy ITA 419.54
9 Rainer Dietel 26 Germany GER 417.14
10 Willi Köstinger 23 Austria AUT 413.68
11 Bjørn Wirkola 20 Norway NOR 413.54
12 Alois Kälin 24 Switzerland SUI 413.23
13 Štefan Olekšák 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 409.78
14 Erwin Fiedor 20 Poland POL 406.16
15 John Bower 23 United States USA 403.76
16 Roland Weißpflog 21 Germany GER 401.70
17 Horst Möhwald 25 Germany GER 396.18
18 Enzo Perin 30 Italy ITA 391.82
19 Waldemar Heigenhauser 24 Austria AUT 378.72
20 Takashi Fujisawa 20 Japan JPN 375.22
21 Josef Kutheil 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 370.36
22 Erkki Luiro 23 Finland FIN 369.50
23 Raimo Majuri 20 Finland FIN 368.22
24 Miloslav Švaříček 21 Czechoslovakia TCH 358.88
25 Esa Klinga 24 Finland FIN 352.59
26 Raimo Partanen 23 Finland FIN 348.38
27 Jim Shea 25 United States USA 346.76
28 Leopold Kohl 33 Austria AUT 341.86
29 Franz Scherübl 23 Austria AUT 338.60
30 Eiichi Tanaka 22 Japan JPN 337.50
31 Akemi Taniguchi 26 Japan JPN 291.51
AC Jim Page 22 United States USA DNF