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Oddvar Brå

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameOddvar•Brå
Used nameOddvar•Brå
Born16 March 1951 in Hølonda, Melhus (NOR)
Measurements183 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsIL Leik, Hølonda, Melhus (NOR)
NOC Norway

Biography

Oddvar Brå was born on a farm in Hølonda, a small former municipality that has fostered three Olympic medalists in skiing: Brå, cross-country skier Magnar Estenstad and ski jumper Toralf Engan. Oddvar Brå competed in all five winter Olympics between 1972 and 1988, but failed to win an individual Olympic medal, although he won two silver medals as a member of the Norwegian relay team in 1972 and 1980. An excellent junior skier, he and friend Ivar Formo won several European Junior Champion titles in 1968 and 1970. Brå’s greatest international moment came in 1982 when he became World Champion in the 15 km race. In a dramatic duel with Soviet’s Aleksandr Zavyalov on the last leg of the relay two days later, he broke his pole, yet Norway and Soviet were judged as equal after a very close finish and shared the gold medal. A popular Norwegian expression “Hvor var du da Oddvar Brå brakk staven?” (“Where were you when Oddvar Brå broke his pole?”) emerged from may be the most dramatic moment in Norwegian TV-sport history. Brå had five victories at Holmenkollen, and was the overall winner of the cross-country skiing World Cup in 1975 and 1979. He is still the Norwegian male cross-country skier with the most national championships, with 16, followed by Bjørn Dæhlie 12. Brå withdrew from the international arena after the 1988 season, but continue to compete nationally well into his 40s. He was also an excellent runner, winning the 1984 Norwegian Champion title in 20 km cross-country running. In later years he worked as a coach for young skiers. Brå was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1975 and the Egebergs Ærespris in 1988.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Oddvar Brå
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 9
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) Norway 2 Silver
1976 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Oddvar Brå
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 19
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) AC
1980 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Oddvar Brå
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 9
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 12
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 7
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) Norway 2 Silver
1984 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Oddvar Brå
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 32
1988 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Oddvar Brå
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 4
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) Norway 6

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1988 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony NOR Oddvar Brå

Special Notes