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Cross Country Skiing at the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games:

Men's 50 kilometres

Cross Country Skiing at the 1932 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games


Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 13, 1932
Date Finished: February 13, 1932

Gold: FIN Veli Saarinen
Silver: FIN Väinö Liikkanen
Bronze: NOR Arne Rustadstuen


One of the big problems for the organizers of the 1932 Winter Games was the lack of snow. The mild weather during and after the 18 km. race melted the snow away in the open areas, and only in the forest was there enough snow to make a cross country track. Therefore it was decided to make a 25 km. track for the 50 km., to be skied in two laps, with the start and finish area moved into the forest, several kilometers away from the nearest dwellings. During the race the temperature was around zero, and the conditions were acceptable in spite of the thin layer of snow.

Early on it turned out to be a Finnish day. At the first lap [Veli Saarinen] was in the lead, one minute in front of his countryman [Väinö Liikkanen], followed by Sweden’s [Sven Utterström] and three Norwegians: [Arne Rustadstuen], [Sigurd Vestad] and [Ole Hegge], who was 5th at the distance in St. Moritz four years earlier. Hegge had already lost five minutes to the leader Saarinen. On the second lap Utterström faded. At the end an exhausted Saarinen was able to cling to the lead ahead of fast finishing Liikkanen and won by a margin of 20 seconds. Hegge had the fastest second lap of all skiers, but was not able to catch Rustadstuen in the battle for the bronze medal. Rustadstuen started three minutes behind Hegge, and was able to better his countryman’s time by 11 seconds. Veli Saarinen’s gold medal was the first ever won by a Finn in an Olympic skiing event.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T
1 Veli Saarinen 29 Finland FIN Gold 4-28:00
2 Väinö Liikkanen 28 Finland FIN Silver 4-28:20
3 Arne Rustadstuen 26 Norway NOR Bronze 4-31:53
4 Ole Hegge 33 Norway NOR 4-32:04
5 Sigurd Vestad 24 Norway NOR 4-32:40
6 Sven Utterström 30 Sweden SWE 4-33:25
7 Tauno Lappalainen 33 Finland FIN 4-45:02
8 John Lindgren 32 Sweden SWE 4-47:22
9 Gustaf Jonsson 28 Sweden SWE 4-49:52
10 Antonín Bartoň 23 Czechoslovakia TCH 4-52:24
11 Vladimír Novák 27 Czechoslovakia TCH 4-52:44
12 Erminio Sertorelli Italy ITA 4-59:00
13 Jaroslav Feistauer 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 5-00:19
14 Ján Cífka 22 Czechoslovakia TCH 5-01:50
15 Richard Parsons 21 United States USA 5-13:59
16 Kaare Engstad 25 Canada CAN 5-19:19
17 Iwao Ageishi 24 Japan JPN 5-19:31
18 Saburo Iwasaki 27 Japan JPN 5-21:40
19 Nils Backstrom 30 United States USA 5-25:40
20 Robert Reid, Sr. 33 United States USA 5-26:06
AC Nort Billings 27 United States USA DNF
AC Giovanni Delago Italy ITA DNF
AC Francesco De Zulian 23 Italy ITA DNF
AC Hubert Douglas 24 Canada CAN DNF
AC Heigoro Kuriyagawa 23 Japan JPN DNF
AC Martti Lappalainen 29 Finland FIN DNF
AC Sivert Mattsson 24 Sweden SWE DNF
AC Zdzisław Motyka 25 Poland POL DNF
AC Walter Ryan Canada CAN DNF
AC Stanisław Skupień 24 Poland POL DNF
AC Ole Stenen 28 Norway NOR DNF
AC Kinzo Taniguchi Japan JPN DNF