| Event type

20 kilometres, Women

Date18 February 1984 — 8:45
LocationVeliko Polje, Igman
Participants40 from 13 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 76 m
Intermediate 1: 3.5 km
Intermediate 2: 10.0 km
Intermediate 3: 13.5 km
Maximum Climb: 24 m
Total Climbing: 530 m

The 20 km cross country for ladies was a new event on the Olympic program, but had been contested twice at the World Championships. Raisa Smetanina was the reigning World Champion, and also won silver at the inaugural event in 1978. The big question was if Marja-Liisa Hämälainen could win a clean sweep and take her third individual gold medal in Sarajevo. The 27-year old Finn, nicknamed the “Iron Maiden” by the Norwegian press, started in a controlled way, lying third at 3.5 km, 6.6 seconds behind the leader, Smetanina, but only 0.1 seconds behind Brit Pettersen from Norway, who was second. But Hämälainen soon took control of the race. At the halfway point, she was 13 seconds ahead of her Soviet rival, with Pettersen further behind but still in third place. At 13.5 km Smetanina was still in contention, only 12 seconds behind. Moving up from seventh to third was Czechoslovakia’s Blanka Paulů, but too far behind the leaders to fight for the gold medal. Norway’s Anne Jahren was five seconds behind Paulů, closely followed by Marie Risby, Lyubov Lyadova and Pettersen, all about ten seconds from the bronze medal position.

Jahren, with start number 4, took the early lead at the finish, and Lyadova, Paulů and Risby failed to beat Jahren’s final time, the Czech skiier finishing just three seconds back. Then Hämälainen finished strongly as usual, having beaten Jahren by half a minute over the last 6.5 km. Smetanina could not respond to Hämälainen’s finish, and won her second silver medal at the Sarajevo Games, beaten by over 40 seconds.

Marja-Liisa Hämälainen had made it, winning all three individual distances in the 1984 games. She had participated both in the 1976 and 1980 games without success, finishing 18th at 10 km in 1980 as her previous Olympic best. Now she was definitely the cross-country queen of the 1984 games. Later in 1984 she married her teammate Harri Kirvesniemi, and, under her new family name, participated in three more Winter Olympic Games, being the first woman to participate at six Winter Olympics.

139Marja-Liisa HämäläinenFIN1-01:45.0Gold
242Raisa SmetaninaURS1-02:26.7Silver
34Anne JahrenNOR1-03:13.6Bronze
427Blanka PaulůTCH1-03:16.9
538Marie RisbySWE1-03:31.8
643Brit PettersenNOR1-03:49.0
723Lyubov LyadovaURS1-03:53.3
837Evi KratzerSUI1-03:56.4
932Pirkko MäättäFIN1-04:37.6
1024Guidina Dal SassoITA1-04:44.1
1126Inger Helene NybråtenNOR1-04:51.2
1235Květa JeriováTCH1-04:56.2
1321Tamara MarkashanskayaURS1-05:01.7
1411Marit MyrmælNOR1-05:01.9
152Yuliya StepanovaURS1-05:33.4
165Anna PasiarováTCH1-05:35.7
1719Eija HyytiäinenFIN1-05:38.8
1841Ute NoackGDR1-05:43.5
1936Karin JägerFRG1-06:20.2
2031Petra RohrmannGDR1-06:30.0
2122Sharon FirthCAN1-06:31.0
2230Karin ThomasSUI1-06:36.1
2329Ann RosendahlSWE1-06:47.8
2413Viera KlimkováTCH1-06:59.9
2533Shirley FirthCAN1-07:02.5
2634Manuela Di CentaITA1-07:10.5
2740Judy RabinowitzUSA1-07:11.4
2817Susan LongUSA1-07:25.9
296Erja KuivalainenFIN1-07:26.4
3012Carola AndingGDR1-07:27.8
3118Kristina HugossonSWE1-07:40.5
328Stina KarlssonSWE1-07:43.4
3325Lynn Spencer-GalanesUSA1-08:25.0
3415Monika GermannSUI1-08:25.5
3520Germana SperottoITA1-10:24.1
3614Ros CoatsGBR1-11:24.1
373Kelly MilliganUSA1-11:50.4
3810Metka MunihYUG1-13:35.8
399Nicola LaveryGBR1-16:24.0
DNF16Angela SchmidtCAN
DNS28Doris TruemanGBR
DNS7Livia ReitROU
DNS1Christina BrüggerSUI