| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date10 February 1972 — 8:30
LocationMakomanai Cross Country Events Site, Sapporo
Participants40 from 13 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 127 m
Intermediate 1: 15.0 km
Intermediate 2: 25.0 km
Intermediate 3: 40.0 km
Maximum Climb: 89 m
Total Climbing: 1,453 m

The 50 km at the 1972 Olympics featured a strong field of prominent long distance cross country skiers: reigning World Champion, the very experienced 35-year old Finn Kalevi Oikarainen, defending Olympic Champion Ole Ellefsæter, Olympic silver medalist from 1968 and hungry for another Olympic gold after his 30 km victory, Vyacheslav Vedenin, and the always reliable Norwegian Pål Tyldum, recently Olympic silver medalist in the 30 km, who had finished fourth at the 1968 Olympic 50 km.

At the first official intermediate timing at 15 km, the unmerited 23-year old Werner Geeser from Arosa in Switzerland had taken the lead, wearing an early start number 11. Another early starter, number 2 Ellefsæter, was second, 23 seconds behind, closely followed by Vedenin and the experienced West German Walter Demel. At the halfway point Geeser had increased his lead to 43 seconds, with Vedenin now in second place. Ellefsæter had dropped to seventh, and Fyodor Simashov had moved past Demel into third place. At 40 km the big surprise Geeser was still in the lead with Simashev in second place, 33 seconds behind. But now the Norwegians Tyldum and Magne Myrmo had started to advance, following close behind Simashev in third and fourth place, respectively. Vedenin had dropped to fifth, one minute behind the leader, followed closely by another Norwegian, Reidar Hjermstad and Demel. The time difference between the first seven was only 1:05, and a thrilling finish was expected. At 45 km, Geeser was still in the lead, but now with Tyldum and Myrmo close behind. Simashev was already fading, and the Swiss also began to feel the cost of his fast start. But he finished bravely, having the best finishing time for some minutes until Myrmo finished 1:05 better than the Swiss. Neither Demel, Hjermstad or Vedenin was able to beat Myrmo’s time, Vedenin coming closest half-a-minute behind. Only Tyldum, wearing one of the latest start numbers and known for his ability to dispose his strength optimal in long distance races, could beat Myrmo, by 14 seconds, to secure an impressive double for Norway, with Vedenin in the bronze position. Hjermstad in fourth place made the day perfect for Norway, with defending champion Ellefsæter in 10th place as the last of the Norwegian quartet. Both Tyldum, a 29-year-old farmer from Høylandet, and Myrmo, one year younger and a forestry technician from Rennebu, continued to compete at the top level until the 1976 Olympics, Myrmo achieving international fame for being the last world champion on wooden skis when he won the 15 km race at the 1974 championships.

140Pål TyldumNOR2-43:14.75Gold
219Magne MyrmoNOR2-43:29.45Silver
337Vyacheslav VedeninURS2-44:00.19Bronze
432Reidar HjermstadNOR2-44:14.51
527Walter DemelFRG2-44:32.67
611Werner GeeserSUI2-44:34.13
716Lars-Arne BöllingSWE2-45:06.80
829Fyodor SimashovURS2-45:08.93
935Gert-Dietmar KlauseGDR2-46:17.43
102Ole EllefsæterNOR2-46:46.94
1136Hans-Erik LarssonSWE2-47:59.37
128Hannu TaipaleFIN2-48:24.83
135Tord BackmanSWE2-48:53.51
141Ulrich WengerSUI2-49:35.35
1522Ivan ProninURS2-49:45.59
1612Eberhard KlessenGDR2-49:53.01
179Ivan GaraninURS2-50:00.78
1833Rainer GroßGDR2-50:16.91
1915Ján FajstavrTCH2-51:12.92
2031Gunnar LarssonSWE2-51:17.56
2126Elviro BlancITA2-51:25.19
2239Attilio LombardITA2-51:39.65
2325Louis JäggiSUI2-53:00.78
2413Gene MorganUSA2-54:01.52
254Tonino BiondiniITA2-54:28.39
2634Giuseppe DermonSUI2-56:24.21
2741Everett DunkleeUSA2-56:42.49
2810Petar PankovBUL2-57:12.15
2920Seiji KudoJPN2-57:42.62
3024Ján MichalkoTCH2-58:31.83
3121Edgar EckertFRG3-00:08.32
3218Teuvo HatunenFIN3-00:41.72
3328Bob GrayUSA3-01:15.37
DNF3Joe McNultyUSA
DNF6Ventsislav StoyanovBUL
DNF14Ulrico KostnerITA
DNF17Jean JobezFRA
DNF23Eero MäntyrantaFIN
DNF30Motoharu MatsumuraJPN
DNF38Kalevi OikarainenFIN
DNS7Gerhard GehringFRG