| Event type

5 kilometres, Women

Date 7 February 1976 — 10:00
LocationLanglaufstadion, Seefeld
Participants44 from 14 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 53 m
Maximum Climb: 40 m
Total Climbing: 234 m

The triple gold medalist from the 1972 Games, Galina Kulakova, now aged 33, was still counted as the leading lady in cross-country skiing. At the 1974 World Championships in Falun, she matched her three gold medals from 1972. In the 1975 season Kulakova was challenged by her younger teammate, Raisa Smetanina, 10 years her junior, who had her international breakthrough at the 1974 World Championships, placing third in the 5 km race.

For the first time the 5 km was the opening distance in the Olympics for the female cross-country skiers. Wearing start #2, the third ranked skier on the Soviet team Nina Baldycheva, who in the 1972 Games competed under her maiden name Fyodorova, took an early lead, until Smetanina, starting 16th, beat her time by 23 seconds in a performance that looked to be good for a gold medal. But to the experts great surprise, the 28-year old Finn Helena Takalo, starting 3 minutes behind Smetanina, was able to beat her leading time by 1.04 seconds. The only one among the last starters who could compete with the leading times was defending champion Kulakova. She arrived too late for gold and silver, but finished 5 seconds better than Baldycheva, seemingly ready for her sixth Olympic medal. However, her doping test revealed the banned drug ephedrine, contained in a nasal spray she had used before the start. She was disqualified from the race, a warning was issued by IOC, but she was allowed to take part in the remaining two events.

121Helena TakaloFIN15:48.69Gold
216Raisa SmetaninaURS15:49.73Silver
32Nina BaldychevaURS16:12.82Bronze
428Hilkka KuntolaFIN16:17.74
543Eva OlssonSWE16:27.15
636Zinaida AmosovaURS16:33.78
73Monika DebertshäuserGDR16:34.94
818Grete KummenNOR16:35.43
91Marjatta KajosmaaFIN16:36.25
1038Blanka PaulůTCH16:41.65
1125Barbara PetzoldGDR16:42.44
1224Veronika SchmidtGDR16:42.86
1320Gabriela SekajováTCH16:53.22
1413Lena CarlzonSWE16:54.59
1534Anna PasiarováTCH16:54.98
1640Sigrun KrauseGDR16:55.54
176Berit KvelloNOR16:57.12
1829Marit MyrmælNOR17:02.21
1944Taina ImpiöFIN17:03.30
2041Berit JohannessenNOR17:04.25
2115Michaela EndlerFRG17:08.68
2226Görel PartapuoliSWE17:20.34
234Miroslava JaškovskáTCH17:26.48
2433Władysława MajerczykPOL17:29.01
259Anna PawlusiakPOL17:29.61
2617Mikiko TeruiJPN17:29.65
2739Shirley FirthCAN17:31.36
287Martha RockwellUSA17:33.07
2932Sharon FirthCAN17:35.06
3023Joan GroothuysenCAN17:51.08
3119Anna GębalaPOL17:58.91
325Maria RautioSWE17:59.25
3312Iris SchulzeFRG18:04.81
348Esther MillerCAN18:05.05
3514Jana HlavatyUSA18:21.21
3642Maria TrebuniaPOL18:21.64
3731Milena KordežYUG18:36.23
3822Barbara StöcklAUT18:49.16
3937Terry PorterUSA19:36.93
4010Claudia SprengerLIE19:51.66
4111Gertrud GasteigerAUT20:14.94
4230Sylvia SchweigerAUT20:17.43
DNF27Lynn von der HeideUSA
DQ35Galina KulakovaURS[16:07.36]1