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Cross Country Skiing at the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

Cross Country Skiing at the 1924 Winter Games: Next Winter Games


Host City: Chamonix, France
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Chamonix
Date Started: January 30, 1924
Date Finished: January 30, 1924

Gold: NOR Thorleif Haug
Silver: NOR Thoralf Strømstad
Bronze: NOR Johan Grøttumsbraaten


The classical 50 km race was the first cross country event in Chamonix, and it was the first time that the top skiers from the dominant Nordic countries met on “neutral” ground. The big Norwegian star [Thorleif Haug] had won the classical Holmenkollen 50 km (the only cross country event in Holmenkollen until 1933, when the 18 km was included in the program) five times between 1918 and 1923, but in 1922 the Norwegians were shocked by a Finnish double, when [Anton Collin] and [Tapani Niku] outclassed the Norwegians and Haug had to be content with a modest 9th place. It was the first time that a non-Norwegian was able to win in Holmenkollen. Besides Collin and Niku, the Norwegians also feared their Swedish neighbours. The small and quiet [Torkel Persson], a native Sami from Jämtland, was considered as the strongest in the team together with [Per-Erik Hedlund] from Särna, the starting point of another Nordic classical competition, Vasaloppet.

The 33 competitors were met with cold and windy conditions when the first starter, the Frenchman [André Blusset] was sent away at 8:37 AM. The skiers started with intervals of one minute in a one-lap course with a really demanding height difference of 820 meters. First of the favorites was Collin with number 3, chased by the Norwegian [Johan Grøttumsbraaten] 1 minute behind. The big favorite Haug started as number 23, chasing Niku 2 minutes ahead of him.

Already in the early stages of the race, it was clear that this would be a great day for the Norwegians. Collin broke one of his skies and had to give up. Grøttumsbraaten had a 1.30 lead over Haug after 20 km, followed by [Matti Raivio], Hedlund, Niku and the two other Norwegians, [Jon Mårdalen] and [Thoralf Strømstad]. 10 km later all four Norwegians were in front. Haug had overtaken Grøttumsbraaten by one minute, with Strømstad 7 and Mårdalen 8 minutes behind. Niku and Hedlund were fading, 15 and 16 minutes behind Haug, and both gave up shortly after. Strømstad was fastest in the last stage of the race and passed Grøttumsbraaten, but Haug kept his lead to the finish, and his victory margin to Strømstad was a clear 1.51. Mårdalen finished his last 20 km 6 minutes faster than Grøttumsbraaten, but had to be content with 4th place. Persson in 5th place was 16 minutes behind Mårdalen, and all 8 skiers from the Nordic countries that finished the race took the 8th first places. The Italians were the best of the Middle Europeans, placing 9-10-11-13.

The Norwegian journalist Finn Amundsen, later a famous sports commentator for Norwegain radio, wired an enthusiastic report home to his paper Idrætsliv under the heading “Vi viste verden vinterveien!” (We showed the world the winter way!), later to become a famous slogan for Norwegian winter sports.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Thorleif Haug 29 Norway NOR Gold 3-44:32
2 Thoralf Strømstad 27 Norway NOR Silver 3-46:23
3 Johan Grøttumsbraaten 24 Norway NOR Bronze 3-47:46
4 Jon MÃ¥rdalen 28 Norway NOR 3-49:48
5 Torkel Persson 29 Sweden SWE 4-05:59
6 Ernst Alm 23 Sweden SWE 4-06:31
7 Matti Raivio 30 Finland FIN 4-06:50
8 Oskar Lindberg 29 Sweden SWE 4-07:44
9 Enrico Colli 27 Italy ITA 4-10:50
10 Giuseppe Ghedina 25 Italy ITA 4-27:48
11 Vincenzo Colli 24 Italy ITA 4-31:34
12 Štěpán Hevák Czechoslovakia TCH 4-44:58
13 Benigno Ferrera 30 Italy ITA 4-45:39
14 Anton Gottstein 30 Czechoslovakia TCH 4-45:48
15 Édouard Pouteil-Noble 21 France FRA 4-58:27
16 Auguste Perrin 29 France FRA 5-04:16
17 Josef Německý 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 5-05:06
18 Camille Médy 21 France FRA 5-10:44
19 Oldřich Kolář 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 5-18:14
20 Ferenc Németh Hungary HUN 6-16:32
21 Szczepan Witkowski 25 Poland POL 6-25:58
AC Per Erik Hedlund 26 Sweden SWE DNF
AC Tapani Niku 28 Finland FIN DNF
AC André Blusset 20 France FRA DNF
AC Erkki Kämäräinen 26 Finland FIN DNF
AC Simon Julen 26 Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Dušan Zinaja 30 Yugoslavia YUG DNF
AC Roberts Plūme 26 Latvia LAT DNF
AC Mirko Pandaković 28 Yugoslavia YUG DNF
AC Hans Herrmann Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Zdenek Å vigelj Yugoslavia YUG DNF
AC Alfred Aufdenblatten 26 Switzerland SUI DNF
AC Anton Collin 32 Finland FIN DNF