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.