| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date 5 February 1964 — 8:30
LocationLanglaufstadion, Seefeld
Participants41 from 14 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 196 m
Intermediate 1: 10.0 km
Intermediate 2: 25.0 km
Intermediate 3: 35.0 km
Maximum Climb: 98 m
Total Climbing: 1,578 m

Sixten Jernberg was definitively the king of the 50 km cross country in the late 1950-s and early 1960-s. He was World Champion in 1958 and 1962 and Olympic Champion in 1956. His only loss in a major championships was when he placed fifth in the 1960 Olympic Games. In the 1962 World Championships he won by a comfortable margin ahead of countryman Assar Rönnlund and defending Olympic Champion Kalevi Hämälainen. The 50 km was organized three days after the 15 km race and one day before Jernberg’s 35th birthday.

Hämälainen was in the lead after 10 km, 14 seconds ahead of Harald Grønningen and with Rönnlund and Jernberg close behind. At the halfway point Hämälainen had increased his lead to 49 seconds, with Rönnlund now in second position and Jernberg close behind in third. At 35 km Hämälainen was apparently struggling, Jernberg now in second place was only 20 seconds behind. The Norwegian Einar Østby was now in third place almost half a minute behind Jernberg, closely followed by Arto Tiainen, an experienced Finnish skier (aged 33) competing in his third Olympics. Rönnlund was down in fifth place but still in contention for the medals, only 18 seconds behind Østby. Another Swede, Janne Stefansson, was moving steadily ahead and had advanced to sixth place.

In the final part of the race defending champion Hämälainen “hit the wall” and lost almost 9 minutes to Jernberg in the last 15 km. He ended in sixteenth place. Jernberg had complete control over his opponents and finished in superb style, winning his third Olympic gold medal, over a minute ahead of team-mate Rönnlund, who after a good finish secured a Swedish double. A tired Tiainen snatched the bronze medal only six seconds ahead of Stefansson, preventing a clean sweep for the Swedes. The fastest finisher of all was the Norwegian favorite Sverre Stensheim, winner of the Holmenkollen 50 km three times in a row (1959-1961). He advanced from a modest 13th place at the halfway point ending fifth, only 17 seconds from the bronze medal. Double Olympic Champion Eero Mäntyranta was apparently tired after his two victories earlier in the week and ended up ninth.

141Sixten JernbergSWE2-43:52.6Gold
218Assar RönnlundSWE2-44:58.2Silver
31Arto TiainenFIN2-45:30.4Bronze
430Janne StefanssonSWE2-45:36.6
534Sverre StensheimNOR2-45:47.2
623Harald GrønningenNOR2-47:03.6
72Einar ØstbyNOR2-47:20.6
842Ole EllefsæterNOR2-47:45.8
940Eero MäntyrantaFIN2-47:47.1
104Melcher RisbergSWE2-48:03.0
1133Igor VoronchikhinURS2-49:21.7
1239Bayazit GizatullinURS2-51:02.4
1337Livio StufferITA2-51:04.7
1412Aleksandr GubinURS2-51:39.7
1521Lauri BergqvistFIN2-52:08.0
1635Kalevi HämäläinenFIN2-52:22.3
1717Ivan LyubimovURS2-52:28.1
1814Eugenio MayerITA2-53:21.3
1928Franco ManfroiITA2-53:56.5
2026Alois KälinSUI2-56:30.5
2125Andreas JancAUT2-58:43.8
2220Štefan HarvanTCH2-59:33.3
2336Ladislav HrubýTCH3-00:35.4
2427Siegfried WeißGER3-00:43.0
258Stefan MitkovBUL3-01:13.7
267Alphonse BaumeSUI3-03:49.1
2716Kazuo SatoJPN3-03:57.9
286Larry DamonUSA3-05:06.4
2931Franz KälinSUI3-06:09.3
3013Herbert SteinbeißerGER3-06:52.2
3138Georges DuboisSUI3-07:21.8
3224Borislav OchushkiBUL3-08:18.7
3311Hermann MayrAUT3-08:48.6
3415Dick TaylorUSA3-09:58.3
3510Hidezo TakahashiJPN3-14:31.4
DNF3Angelo GenuinITA
DNF5Eric LuomaCAN
DNF9Rudolf DannhauerGER
DNF22Franz PortmannCAN
DNF29Yang Yong-OkKOR
DNF32Chogoro YahataJPN
DNS19Henryk MarekPOL