Håkon Brusveen suffered from chronic asthmatic bronchitis as a youngster, and started running in summer and cross-country skiing in winter to improve his health. In 1952 he surprised by placing fifth at a selection race for the Oslo Olympics and was selected to the Norwegian team, but only as a non-starting substitute. In 1953 he won his first of four Norwegian titles, in the 30 km. He qualified for the 1956 Olympics and placed fifth at 15 km and also skied the first leg for the relay team that placed fourth. In 1957 he won his second national title, over 30 km, and his club team from Vingrom IL won the relay. In 1958 he was Norwegian champion in both 15 and 30 km, and placed fifth in the 15 km at the World Championships. During this period he established a sport shop in central Lillehammer.
For the 1960 Winter Olympics Brusveen originally was selected as a non-travelling substitute, but after an impressive test race a few days before the team’s departure for Squaw Valley, a sport journalist from the newspaper Aftenposten sent a message to Norway’s King Olav V, urging that Brusveen be selected to the Olympic team. The king’s answer was: “I would like to see Brusveen join the Squaw Valley squad”, and the Olympic committee included him on the team. He won the 15 km at Squaw Valley, thanks to his excellent finish, after a close battle with Sixten Jernberg. Brusveen skied the last leg for Norway in the relay and had a 20 second lead over Finland, but was overtaken by Veikko Hakulinen in the final stage of the race and was beaten to silver by only 0.8 seconds.
After 1960 Brusveen competed in biathlon, hoping to qualify for his fourth Olympic Games in 1964, but failed to qualify by a scant margin. Brusveen was later an extremely popular radio commentator, from 1963-97 giving intermediate reports from out on the cross-country track at national and international championships.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1956 Winter Olympics||Cross Country Skiing (Skiing)||NOR||Håkon Brusveen|
|15 kilometres, Men (Olympic)||5|
|4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic)||Norway||4|
|1960 Winter Olympics||Cross Country Skiing (Skiing)||NOR||Håkon Brusveen|
|15 kilometres, Men (Olympic)||1||Gold|
|4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic)||Norway||2||Silver|