Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): , Autrans
Date Started: February 16, 1968
Date Finished: February 16, 1968
After placing 2-3-6 in the 5 km event, the defending champion Soviet Union was favored to win the relay three days later. Their strongest opponents seemed to be Sweden with double Olympic champion [Toini Gustafsson] as their strongest card. In 1964, the Norwegian ladies were considered too weak, and Norway did not even enter a team for the womenâs relay. However, at the 1966 World Championships in Oslo the Norwegian girls had surprised the home crowd by taking a very popular silver medal behind the Soviets after a close battle with Sweden.
On the first leg, Norwayâs [Inger Aufles] surprised everybody by leaving her closest rivals Finland, Soviet and Poland around 25 seconds behind, with Sweden in fifth position another 14 seconds behind. Toini Gustafsson skied an excellent second leg for Sweden with the fastest leg-time of the day, but Norwayâs [Babben Enger-Damon], considered as the weak point on the Norwegian team, fought bravely and sent [Berit MÃ¸rdre] out on the anchor leg with a 15 seconds lead ahead of Sweden, the Soviets in third place another 20 seconds behind. MÃ¸rdre skied the fastest anchor leg of the day, and the Norwegians won a surprising gold with a comfortable margin, 21 seconds ahead of Sweden and with Soviet Union another 22 seconds behind in bronze position.