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Nordic Combined at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games:

Men's Individual

Nordic Combined at the 1980 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games


Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): Intervale Ski Jump Complex, Lake Placid; Mt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 18, 1980
Date Finished: February 19, 1980
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 15 kilometres skiing; placements determined by points table.

Gold: GDR Ulrich Wehling
Silver: FIN Jouko Karjalainen
Bronze: GDR Konrad Winkler


The two-time defending Olympic champion, East Germany’s [Ulrich Wehling], had dominated the international Nordic Combined scene during the 1970s. Besides his Olympic victories and World Championships gold he had won six national championships in the period 1973-1979 and was triumphant at Holmenkollen three years in a row – 1975, 1976 and 1977. His only international Championship defeat came at the 1978 World Championships in Lahti, were he finished third after his teammate [Konrad Winkler] and his arch-rival, the Finn [Rauno Miettinen]. However, Wehling, still only 27, was only one of four main favorites for the 1980 Olympic gold. Winkler, reigning World Champion, was to be considered, and Norway had hopes to regain their supremacy in the event through [Tom Sandberg], Norwegian Champion six times in a row between 1975 and 1980. Finland had produced a great prospect in 23-year old [Jouko Karjalainen], an excellent cross-country skier who was dangerous if he could do well in the ski jumping.

Wehling started the competition well. He won the jumping by a comfortable margin, with the best jump in both of the first two rounds, producing the longest jump of the day in the second round with 85.0 m. Second was an unknown American, [Walter Malmquist], and third a West German teenager, [Hubert Schwarz]. Winkler, who placed fifth in ski jumping, had to beat Wehling by 1:25 in the cross country event, and Karjalainen (1:58 back) and Sandberg (2:39 back) were still in contention for the medals. Malmquist and Schwartz were considered too weak in the cross-country event to have any impact on the medal race.

In the 15 km cross-country phase, Wehling had the advantage of starting behind his rivals, Winkler and Karjalainen. The most dangerous attack came from the Finn. After 5 km he had a ½-minute lead over Wehling, and at 10 km the lead had increased to one minute, but Karjalainen had to gain another minute during the last 5 km, an almost impossible task. Wehling controlled the last part of the race and won his third consecutive Olympic Nordic Combined gold medal, a feat not performed before or since. Karjalainen, with the best cross-country time, advanced to the silver position, and Winkler, as in 1976, had to be content with the bronze medal. Sandberg edged out the East German [Uwe Dotzauer] in a close duel for fourth place. Miettinen, a shadow of his former self, ended in 23rd place, failing totally on the jumping hill.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Ulrich Wehling 27 East Germany GDR Gold 432.200
2 Jouko Karjalainen 23 Finland FIN Silver 429.500
3 Konrad Winkler 24 East Germany GDR Bronze 425.320
4 Tom Sandberg 24 Norway NOR 418.465
5 Uwe Dotzauer 20 East Germany GDR 418.415
6 Karl Lustenberger 27 Switzerland SUI 412.210
7 Aleksandr Mayorov 22 Soviet Union URS 409.135
8 Gunter Schmieder 22 East Germany GDR 404.075
9 Hubert Schwarz 19 West Germany FRG 402.145
10 Jan Legierski 27 Poland POL 400.930
11 Hallstein Bøgseth 25 Norway NOR 398.990
12 Walter Malmquist, II 23 United States USA 395.300
13 Jorma Etelälahti 28 Finland FIN 391.915
14 Urban Hettich 26 West Germany FRG 390.525
15 Fjodor Koltšin 22 Soviet Union URS 387.355
16 Hermann Weinbuch 19 West Germany FRG 385.240
17 Józef Pawlusiak 23 Poland POL 384.600
18 Kerry Lynch 22 United States USA 382.330
19 Sergey Omelchenko 26 Soviet Union URS 379.935
20 Günther Abel 23 West Germany FRG 376.520
21 Ernst Beetschen 26 Switzerland SUI 368.595
22 Jukka Kuvaja 26 Finland FIN 367.845
23 Rauno Miettinen 30 Finland FIN 367.540
24 Kazimierz Długopolski 29 Poland POL 364.895
25 Michio Kubota 30 Japan JPN 364.415
26 Stanisław Kawulok 26 Poland POL 364.140
27 Toshihiro Hanada 19 Japan JPN 349.145
28 Gary Crawford 22 United States USA 340.180
29 Odd Arne Engh 28 Norway NOR 328.145
AC Mike Devecka 32 United States USA DNF
AC Arne Morten Granlien 24 Norway NOR DNF