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Cross Country Skiing at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games:

Women's 10 kilometres

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Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): Mt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 18, 1980
Date Finished: February 18, 1980

Gold: GDR Barbara Petzold
Silver: FIN Hilkka Riihivuori-Kuntola
Bronze: FIN Helena Kivioja-Takalo

Summary

All the medalists from the 1976 Games were present, and among the favorites were the defending champion Raisa Smetanina, silver medalist Helena Takalo and the 1976 bronze medalist, the dominant female cross-country skier during the 1970s, Galina Kulakova, now aged 37 and making her last individual Olympic appearance. The reigning World Champion at the distance, Zinaida Amosova, was not present, however, failing to qualify for the Soviet Olympic team.

At the halfway point, East Germany’s Barbara Petzold had taken the lead, almost 14 seconds ahead of Smetanina, with the other favorites closely following: the silver medalist from the 5 km race Hilkka Riihivuori in third, only 0.3 seconds behind Smetanina, then Takalo in fourth, another 1.9 seconds behind, and Kulakova in fifth place, 6 seconds behind Takalo. Kulakova was the first of the favorites to finish, but Takalo, starting half a minute behind, immediately took over the lead, finishing 13 seconds ahead of the Soviet veteran. Then everybody’s eyes were on the 24-year old leader Petzold. She finished 14 seconds stronger than Takalo, and Riihivuori, chasing Petzold from behind, arriving 3.5 seconds too late to beat the leading German woman. The final challenger was Smetanina, the winner of the 5 km race three days earlier. To everybody’s surprise she faded in the last part of the race and dropped down to fourth, outside the medal podium, 9 seconds behind Takalo.

Even if Petzold’s victory was a minor surprise, she had earlier shown great promise on the cross-country track. In 1974, at only 18-years-old, she won the silver medal at 10 km at the World Championships in Falun. In the 1976 Games she placed seventh at the distance, but her later progress was hampered by overtraining. She became the first ever German to win an Olympic cross-country gold medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T I1T I1R
1 Barbara Petzold 24 East Germany GDR Gold 30:31.54 16:29.10 1
2 Hilkka Riihivuori-Kuntola 27 Finland FIN Silver 30:35.05 16:43.26 3
3 Helena Kivioja-Takalo 32 Finland FIN Bronze 30:45.25 16:45.10 4
4 Raisa Smetanina 27 Soviet Union URS 30:54.48 16:42.97 2
5 Galina Kulakova 37 Soviet Union URS 30:58.46 16:51.58 5
6 Nina Fyodorova-Baldycheva 32 Soviet Union URS 31:22.93 17:03.54 7
7 Marlies Rostock 19 East Germany GDR 31:28.79 17:08.43 9
8 Veronika Hesse-Schmidt 27 East Germany GDR 31:29.14 17:07.83 8
9 Květa Jeriová 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 31:29.55 17:15.69 13
10 Eva Olsson 28 Sweden SWE 31:36.08 17:03.34 6
11 Lena Carlzon-Lundbäck 25 Sweden SWE 31:45.50 17:12.47 11
12 Carola Anding 19 East Germany GDR 31:45.82 17:15.59 12
13 Berit Aunli-Kvello 23 Norway NOR 31:46.11 17:11.08 10
14 Iraida Suslova 25 Soviet Union URS 31:48.39 17:19.00 15
15 Marie Johansson-Risby 24 Sweden SWE 31:48.57 17:16.32 14
16 Dagmar Palečková-Švubová 21 Czechoslovakia TCH 32:03.32 17:19.40 16
17 Karin Lamberg-Skog 19 Sweden SWE 32:10.44 17:22.46 17
18 Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen 24 Finland FIN 32:22.88 17:34.92 19
19 Gabriela Svobodová-Sekajová 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 32:23.05 17:39.19 21
20 Marit Myrmæl 26 Norway NOR 32:25.14 17:33.45 18
21 Susi Riermeier 19 West Germany FRG 32:37.57 17:37.31 20
22 Alison Owen-Spencer 27 United States USA 32:41.33 17:41.64 22
23 Angela Schmidt-Foster 20 Canada CAN 32:56.13 17:53.35 26
24 Shirley Firth 26 Canada CAN 32:56.87 17:48.34 23
25 Beth Paxson 20 United States USA 33:01.60 17:54.62 28
26 Karin Jäger 18 West Germany FRG 33:01.76 17:52.77 25
27 Evi Kratzer 19 Switzerland SUI 33:03.65 17:57.95 29
28 Leslie Bancroft-Krichko 20 United States USA 33:04.71 17:49.33 24
29 Blanka Paulů 25 Czechoslovakia TCH 33:08.31 18:07.48 32
30 Hilde Riis 20 Norway NOR 33:08.68 17:54.02 27
31 Lynn von der Heide-Spencer-Galanes 25 United States USA 33:13.89 18:00.28 31
32 Ulla Maaskola 20 Finland FIN 33:22.19 18:00.03 30
33 Esther Miller 22 Canada CAN 33:29.03 18:16.54 34
34 Joan Groothuysen 22 Canada CAN 33:31.99 18:10.83 33
35 Colleen Bolton 22 Australia AUS 33:56.32 18:26.95 36
36 Cornelia Thomas 19 Switzerland SUI 33:57.94 18:26.83 35
37 Hege Peikli 22 Norway NOR 34:05.03 18:33.15 37
38 Ren Guiping 19 China CHN 38:23.45 20:58.23 38