Gunnar Eriksson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKrång Erik Gunnar•Eriksson
Used nameGunnar•Eriksson
Born3 January 1921 in Östnor, Mora, Dalarna (SWE)
Died8 July 1982 in Mora, Dalarna (SWE)
AffiliationsIFK Mora, Mora (SWE)
NOC Sweden
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2


Gunnar Eriksson formed a famous Swedish trio of cross-country skiers from Mora together with Anders Törnkvist and Nils Karlsson in the second half of the 1940s and the early 50s. He took bronze in the 18 km at the 1948 Winter Olympics, when the Swedes swept the medals. Running third leg, he helped Sweden win the relay, together with the gold and silver medalists in this event, Martin Lundström and Nils Östensson, and Nils Täpp. At the 1950 World Ski Championships 1950, Eriksson won the 50 km, and ranked 12th in the same event at the 1952 Winter Olympics. In his last major championship contests, the 1954 World Championships in Falun Eriksson placed 21st in the 50 km and 15th in the new championship distance of 30 km. Eriksson was never an individual Swedish champion, but in both 1945 and 1950 he ran the anchor leg when his Mora team won the relay. He also won the highest number of team championships with his club, with 22. Eriksson also won the 50 km race at the 1951 Lahti Ski Games.

Like “Mora-Nisse” Karlsson, Gunnar Eriksson came from Östnor, where his parents raised nine children, six boys and three girls. As his father died at the early age of 42, the children had to contribute to the household budget working in the local knife factory, and in 1946, the brothers started their own hardware factory. His future wife Kerstin Norlin, the winner of the ladies section of the Vasa ski marathon in 1949, lived next door. The same year Eriksson did his best Vasa run, placing sixth. His wife Kerstin died at only 38-years-old and left him behind with their children. He continued to live in Östnor, timbering, collecting stamps, fishing and hunting, until 1980 when he developed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Despite his illness Eriksson performed daily physical activities to keep his muscles active, and rode and skied for as long as he could. He died at only 61-years-old in July 1982.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) SWE Gunnar Eriksson
18 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) Sweden 1 Gold
1952 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) SWE Gunnar Eriksson
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 12

Special Notes