| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date13 February 1932 — 8:00
LocationJames C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Participants32 from 9 countries
DetailsCourse Length: 48,239 m
Height Differential: ?
Maximum Climb: ?
Total Climbing: ?

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.

123Veli SaarinenFIN4-28:00Gold
2Väinö LiikkanenFIN4-28:20Silver
3Arne RustadstuenNOR4-31:53Bronze
4Ole HeggeNOR4-32:04
5Sigurd VestadNOR4-32:40
6Sven UtterströmSWE4-33:25
7Tauno LappalainenFIN4-45:02
8John LindgrenSWE4-47:22
9Gustaf JonssonSWE4-49:52
10Antonín BartoňTCH4-52:24
11Vladimír NovákTCH4-52:44
12Erminio SertorelliITA4-59:00
13Jaroslav FeistauerTCH5-00:19
14Ján CífkaTCH5-01:50
15Richard ParsonsUSA5-13:59
16Kaare EngstadCAN5-19:19
17Iwao AgeishiJPN5-19:31
18Saburo IwasakiJPN5-21:40
19Nils BackstromUSA5-25:40
20Robert Reid, Sr.USA5-26:06
DNFNort BillingsUSA
DNFGiovanni DelagoITA
DNFFrancesco DezulianITA
DNFHubert DouglasCAN
DNFHeigoro KuriyagawaJPN
DNFMartti LappalainenFIN
DNFSivert MattssonSWE
DNFZdzisław MotykaPOL
DNFWalter RyanCAN
DNFStanisław SkupieńPOL
DNFOle StenenNOR
DNFKinzo TaniguchiJPN
DNSHalvor HeggtveitCAN
DNSHarry PangmanCAN
DNSErkki PenttiläFIN
DNSValmari ToikkaFIN
DNSLorenzo ColturiITA
DNSTakemitsu TsubokawaJPN
DNSKatsumi YamadaJPN
DNSOscar Aas HaugenNOR
DNSKristian HovdeNOR
DNSKolbjørn SevreNOR
DNSSven ÅströmSWE
DNSKarl LindbergSWE
DNSNils SvärdSWE
DNSAxel WikströmSWE
DNSFrantišek ŠimůnekTCH
DNSRolf MonsenUSA
DNSKarl Magnus SatreUSA
DNSOlle ZetterstromUSA