Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Venue(s): Veliko Polje, Igman
Date Started: February 15, 1984
Date Finished: February 15, 1984
After their excellent team showing in the 10 and 5 km races, Norway was expected to repeat their 1968 Olympic relay gold. East Germany, the defending Olympic champion, was not expected to be among the medal contenders, with only Carola Anding left from their 1980 gold winning team. The Soviet Union, silver medalists at the 1980 Olympics and the 1982 World Championships, missed their cross-country queen Galina Kulakova, who had ended her glorious career at age 39, after winning a World silver medal with the 1982 team.
After the first leg, Norway had a big lead, Inger Helene Nybråten coming to the first exchange 25 seconds ahead of the Soviet Union’s Yuliya Stepanova. More than ten seconds further behind followed Finland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Sweden. On the second leg, Anne Jahren extended Norway’s lead to almost one minute, with the USSR still second, with Czechoslovakia and Finland close behind. When Brit Pettersen sent Berit Aunli out on the anchor leg, Soviet’s Nadezhda Buryakova was 1:03 behind, with Finland and Czechoslovakia ten seconds further behind. Aunli anchored Norway to a clear victory, but the fight for the other medals were very tight. The Soviet Union’s Raisa Smetanina was soon overtaken by Marja-Liisa Hämälainen from Finland and Czechoslovakia’s Květa Jeriová, and to everyone’s surprise the Czech skiier outsprinted the double Olympic champion Hämälainen in a close duel for silver. The Czechoslovakian team celebrated their first ever Olympic relay medal.