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Cross Country Skiing at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Cross Country Skiing Stadium, Seefeld
Date Started: February 14, 1976
Date Finished: February 14, 1976

Gold: NOR Ivar Formo
Silver: GDR Gert-Dietmar Klause
Bronze: SWE Benny Södergren

Summary

Ivar Formo, a 24-year old engineering student from Oslo, was the only Norwegian who had done as expected so far in the Olympic cross-country tracks around Seefeld. He was full of self confidence before the last event, the 50 km race, organized the day before the closing of the Games. With defending Olympic champion Pål Tyldum also on the team Norway hoped for revenge, but they feared the Soviet skiers, and also the reigning World Champion, East German Gerhard Grimmer, who was counted as a major contender for the gold.

At 10 km, the 24-year old Soviet Vasily Rochev, bronze medalist in 15 km at the 1974 World Championship, had taken the lead, 13 seconds ahead of Sven-Åke Lundbäck from Sweden, 1972 Olympic Champion in the 15 km. At the halfway point, the amazing American Bill Koch, skiing his first ever 50 km in competition, had advanced from fourth to the top of the leaderboard, 8 seconds ahead of East Germany’s Gert-Dietmar Klause. Formo followed in third place, while Rochev had dropped down to fourth. Now Formo started his move. At the 40 km intermediate mark, he was in the lead, 32 seconds ahead of Klause. Rochev was now in third, still in contention for a medal, but he was closely followed by the steadily advancing Swede Benny Södergren, the youngster Koch and World Champion Grimmer. Over the last 10 km, Rochev and Koch faded badly, losing five minutes more to the leaders and dropped down to 12th and 13th place in the final results. Formo ran a perfect calculated race, finished fastest of all and restored Norwegian cross-country pride with a gold medal, Norway being the first nation to win the 50 km at three consecutive Winter Olympics. Klause was a clear second, and Södergren’s well paced finish earned Sweden their only Nordic skiing medal at the 1976 winter Olympics. The best Soviet skier, Ivan Garanin had advanced steadily over the last part of the race and ended as fourth, a minute too late to secure a medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R I2T I2R I3T I3R
1 Ivar Formo 24 Norway NOR Gold 2-37:30.05 46:08.01 5 1-17:21.32 3 2-05:29.91 1
2 Gert-Dietmar Klause 30 East Germany GDR Silver 2-38:13.21 45:55.56 3 1-17:00.72 2 2-06:02.04 2
3 Benny Södergren 27 Sweden SWE Bronze 2-39:39.21 46:25.57 9 1-17:52.02 6 2-07:29.87 4
4 Ivan Garanin 30 Soviet Union URS 2-40:38.94 46:16.40 7 1-18:15.31 8 2-07:56.60 7
5 Gerhard Grimmer 32 East Germany GDR 2-41:15.46 46:22.39 8 1-17:57.25 7 2-07:35.94 6
6 Per Knut Aaland 21 Norway NOR 2-41:18.06 46:52.84 13 1-18:37.74 10 2-08:36.34 8
7 Pål Tyldum 33 Norway NOR 2-42:21.86 48:04.48 28 1-20:08.40 23 2-09:35.27 11
8 Tommy Limby 28 Sweden SWE 2-42:43.58 46:46.58 11 1-18:47.83 11 2-09:12.63 10
9 Juhani Repo 28 Finland FIN 2-42:54.89 47:50.34 26 1-19:36.44 16 2-09:48.24 12
10 Arto Koivisto 28 Finland FIN 2-43:44.79 47:10.82 14 1-19:56.23 21 2-10:25.32 17
11 Jean-Paul Pierrat 23 France FRA 2-44:03.31 47:41.15 21 1-19:33.62 15 2-10:22.30 16
12 Vasily Rochev 24 Soviet Union URS 2-44:31.23 45:40.40 1 1-17:40.82 4 2-07:23.51 3
13 Bill Koch 20 United States USA 2-44:34.69 46:03.10 4 1-16:52.41 1 2-07:33.98 5
14 Milan Jarý 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-44:51.16 46:44.27 10 1-18:49.29 12 2-10:18.29 15
15 Jiří Beran 24 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-44:51.80 47:15.40 17 1-19:55.59 19 2-11:37.13 21
16 Sven-Åke Lundbäck 28 Sweden SWE 2-45:04.82 45:53.23 2 1-17:43.94 5 2-09:51.04 13
17 Ján Fajstavr 31 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-45:19.91 47:55.71 27 1-20:48.38 28 2-11:45.76 23
18 Franz Renggli 23 Switzerland SUI 2-45:25.24 46:48.17 12 1-19:00.67 13 2-10:16.23 14
19 Matti Kuosku 34 Sweden SWE 2-45:33.41 47:41.93 23 1-20:06.34 22 2-11:39.83 22
20 Heinz Gähler 23 Switzerland SUI 2-45:51.64 47:14.28 16 1-19:28.93 14 2-10:36.52 18
21 Sergey Savelyev 27 Soviet Union URS 2-46:01.36 46:08.65 6 1-18:29.91 9 2-09:08.32 9
22 Hans Skinstad 29 Canada CAN 2-46:11.83 48:27.34 35 1-20:59.78 32 2-12:19.72 25
23 Georg Zipfel 22 West Germany FRG 2-46:20.30 47:13.24 15 1-19:56.13 20 2-11:29.46 20
24 Herbert Wachter 35 Austria AUT 2-46:40.25 47:41.79 22 1-19:39.57 17 2-11:56.90 24
25 Walter Demel 40 West Germany FRG 2-46:55.95 47:48.28 24 1-20:29.03 25 2-12:22.84 26
26 Werner Vogel 27 Austria AUT 2-47:05.63 48:35.05 37 1-20:48.68 29 2-13:15.54 31
27 Pertti Teurajärvi 24 Finland FIN 2-47:25.60 48:18.34 31 1-20:56.58 31 2-12:52.89 28
28 Gerd Heßler 27 East Germany GDR 2-47:34.90 48:26.27 34 1-21:26.24 35 2-12:58.00 30
29 Jean-Paul Vandel 24 France FRA 2-47:45.20 47:30.75 19 1-19:54.58 18 2-11:26.28 19
30 Stanislav Henych 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 2-48:00.27 47:39.20 20 1-20:33.03 26 2-12:51.13 27
31 Venanz Egger 21 Switzerland SUI 2-48:30.70 48:10.25 30 1-20:24.78 24 2-13:49.31 32
32 Christian Pfeuti 25 Switzerland SUI 2-49:50.90 47:48.75 25 1-20:48.86 30 2-15:09.16 35
33 Dieter Meinel 26 East Germany GDR 2-49:52.42 48:07.61 29 1-21:25.68 34 2-14:14.82 33
34 Juha Mieto 26 Finland FIN 2-50:03.61 48:21.61 33 1-22:43.66 38 2-15:18.63 36
35 Reinhold Feichter 23 Austria AUT 2-50:53.00 48:20.50 32 1-21:11.88 33 2-12:57.93 29
36 Stan Dunklee 21 United States USA 2-51:26.28 49:19.09 38 1-22:08.14 37 2-14:46.51 34
37 Edward Day 26 Canada CAN 2-51:58.75 49:26.67 39 1-22:43.97 39 2-16:39.09 38
38 Yevgeny Belyayev 21 Soviet Union URS 2-54:00.55 47:18.99 18 1-20:45.32 27 2-15:47.36 37
39 Lyubomir Toskov 30 Bulgaria BUL 2-55:11.11 48:27.87 36 1-21:56.25 36 2-16:52.41 39
40 Petar Pankov 30 Bulgaria BUL 2-57:07.93 51:47.40 41 1-25:34.67 40 2-21:29.84 40
41 Ernie Lennie 22 Canada CAN 3-01:01.57 52:16.43 42 1-27:26.40 42 2-23:44.38 43
42 Halldór Matthíasson 26 Iceland ISL 3-02:51.17 52:48.22 44 1-28:11.94 44 2-23:33.23 42
43 Heinrich Wallner 34 Austria AUT 3-03:58.19 51:03.88 40 1-25:40.20 41 2-22:45.35 41
44 Maksi Jelenc 24 Yugoslavia YUG 3-05:05.94 52:35.56 43 1-28:06.66 43 2-26:49.74 44
AC Chris Haines 24 United States USA DNF
AC Jan Staszel 25 Poland POL DNF
AC Jerzy Koryciak 21 Poland POL DNF
AC Franz Betz 24 West Germany FRG DNF
AC Pierre Salvi 27 France FRA DNF
AC Wiesław Gębala 25 Poland POL DNF
AC Tonio Biondini 31 Italy ITA DNF
AC Roberto Primus 26 Italy ITA DNF
AC Georg Kandlinger 26 West Germany FRG DNF
AC Oddvar Brå 24 Norway NOR DNF
AC Roland Jeannerod 30 France FRA DNF
AC Tim Caldwell 21 United States USA DNF
AC Bert Bullock 20 Canada CAN DNF
AC Ulrico Kostner 30 Italy ITA DNF
AC Carlo Favre 27 Italy ITA DNF