Thor Helland

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThor Oluf•Helland
Used nameThor•Helland
Born10 December 1936 in Sørfold (NOR)
Died2 August 2021 in Oslo (NOR)
Measurements178 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsIL i BUL, Oslo (NOR)
NOC Norway


Thor Helland ran the 5,000 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, finishing eighth. Helland earned 38 caps for Norway and was a Norwegian senior champion 17 times. He set six Norwegian records, with three at 3,000 metres, two at 5,000 metres, and one at 10,000 metres, and two Nordic records, in the 3K and 5K in 1965.

Helland was married to Unni Helland, also a prominent athlete though never an Olympian. After their retirement they became coaches for their club, Idrettslaget i Bondeungdomslaget (IL i BUL), and they both coached at the club into their 80s. Thor was also a board member of Idrottslaget, a board member of the business of IL i BUL, a member of the Council of IL i BUL, and a member of the main committee of Sentrumsløpet.

Personal Best: 5000 – 13:37.4 (1965).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics NOR Thor Helland
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 8