| Event type

4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men

Date13 February 1972 — 9:00
LocationMakomanai Cross Country Events Site, Sapporo
Participants56 from 14 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 109 m
Maximum Climb: 67 m
Total Climbing: 313 m

The cross-country relay was expected to be a close duel between defending Olympic Champion Norway and the reigning 1970 World Champion, the Soviet Union. At the first exchange, three teams were close together. Norway’s Oddvar Brå and Sweden’s Thomas Magnusson came in together, with Soviet’s Vladimir Voronkov only two seconds behind, while Switzerland was in fourth place, 44 seconds behind the leader. On the second leg, Soviet Yury Skobov and Norway’s Pål Tyldum were close together at the exchange, with Sweden’s Lars-Göran Åslund in third place over a minute behind. When Norway’s 20-year old Ivar Formo built up a 1:01 lead on the third leg over Soviet’s Fyodor Simashov, it looked like an easy victory for the defending champions. Sweden in third was now only 20 seconds behind the Soviets, and the silver medalist from the Nordic Combined in 1968, Alois Kälin, brought Switzerland up from sixth to fourth, only two seconds behind Sweden.

The Soviet’s anchor leg skier Vyacheslav Vedenin started strongly, and after 5 km he had reduced the gap to the Norwegian Johs Harviken to around half a minute. The Soviets now began to hope for victory, and 100 m from home Vedenin had caught Harviken. In a desperate try to counterattack, Harviken fell, and Vedenin secured Soviet’s second Olympic relay gold, 16 years after their first win in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The fight for the bronze medal also ended in drama. Sweden’s Sven-Åke Lundbäck and Switzerland’s Edi Hauser arrived in the finishing stretch together, then Lundbäck fell and Hauser garnered for Switzerland their first ever Olympic cross-country relay medal. Alois Kälin is still the last skier, thru 2006, with Olympic medals both in cross-country skiing and Nordic Combined. The team from East Germany, who had won a surprising silver medal in the 1970 World Championships, had the same lineup in Sapporo as they had in 1970, but ended in a disappointing sixth place, over five minutes behind the winning team.

PosNrTeamNOCTimeSplit (Pos)
11Soviet UnionURS2-04:47.94Gold
1-1Vladimir Voronkov31:12.5231:12.52 (3)
1-2Yury Skobov30:55.421-02:07.94 (1)
1-3Fyodor Simashov32:18.631-34:26.57 (2)
1-4Vyacheslav Vedenin30:21.372-04:47.94 (1)
4-1Oddvar Brå31:10.3831:10.38 (1)
4-2Pål Tyldum30:58.111-02:08.49 (2)
4-3Ivar Formo31:16.781-33:25.27 (1)
4-4Johs Harviken31:31.792-04:57.06 (2)
5-1Fredel Kälin31:54.7631:54.76 (4)
5-2Albert Giger31:40.141-03:34.90 (6)
5-3Alois Kälin31:13.111-34:48.01 (4)
5-4Edi Hauser32:12.052-07:00.06 (3)
3-1Thomas Magnusson31:10.5631:10.56 (2)
3-2Lars-Göran Åslund31:59.651-03:10.21 (3)
3-3Gunnar Larsson31:35.961-34:46.17 (3)
3-4Sven-Åke Lundbäck32:17.432-07:03.60 (4)
7-1Hannu Taipale32:17.1932:17.19 (6)
7-2Juha Mieto30:54.641-03:11.83 (4)
7-3Juhani Repo33:47.891-36:59.72 (5)
7-4Osmo Karjalainen30:50.472-07:50.19 (5)
62East GermanyGDR2-10:03.73
2-1Gerd Heßler32:19.7432:19.74 (7)
2-2Axel Lesser31:09.531-03:29.27 (5)
2-3Gerhard Grimmer33:49.311-37:18.58 (7)
2-4Gert-Dietmar Klause32:45.152-10:03.73 (6)
79West GermanyFRG2-10:42.85
9-1Franz Betz33:08.1433:08.14 (9)
9-2Urban Hettich34:06.061-07:14.20 (11)
9-3Hartmut Döpp32:22.001-39:36.20 (9)
9-4Walter Demel31:06.652-10:42.85 (7)
8-1Stanislav Henych32:00.8532:00.85 (5)
8-2Ján Fajstavr31:51.701-03:52.55 (7)
8-3Ján Michalko33:19.571-37:12.12 (6)
8-4Ján Ilavský34:15.432-11:27.55 (8)
6-1Carlo Favre32:43.4932:43.49 (8)
6-2Elviro Blanc33:13.801-05:57.29 (8)
6-3Renzo Chiocchetti33:29.661-39:26.95 (8)
6-4Ulrico Kostner32:40.162-12:07.11 (9)
11-1Hideo Tanifuji35:21.6035:21.60 (14)
11-2Kunio Shibata32:39.301-08:00.90 (12)
11-3Akiyoshi Matsuoka33:40.581-41:41.48 (12)
11-4Tomio Okamura32:17.662-13:59.14 (10)
13-1Jean-Paul Vandel33:35.2833:35.28 (12)
13-2Roland Jeannerod33:00.691-06:35.97 (9)
13-3Gilbert Faure34:35.091-41:11.06 (10)
13-4Jean Jobez33:24.922-14:35.98 (11)
1210United StatesUSA2-14:37.28
10-1Tim Caldwell33:29.4333:29.43 (10)
10-2Mike Gallagher33:09.561-06:38.99 (10)
10-3Larry Martin34:47.781-41:26.77 (11)
10-4Mike Elliott33:10.512-14:37.28 (12)
14-1Fred Kelly33:30.9233:30.92 (11)
14-2Roger Allen35:06.611-08:37.53 (13)
14-3Jarl Omholt-Jensen35:34.131-44:11.66 (13)
14-4Malcolm Hunter32:44.752-16:56.41 (13)
12-1Herbert Wachter– (13)1
12-2Josef Hauser– (–)
12-3Ulli Öhlböck– (–)
12-4Heinrich Wallner– (–)