A 25-year-old lumberjack from Mesnali, Erling Evensen was a surprise winner of the Norwegian championships in 30 km cross-country skiing in 1940, but his skiing career was stopped for five years due to World War II. In 1947, however, aged 32, he was back, winning the national championships in 17 km and as a member of Hedmark’s winning team in the 3x10 km relay. At the 1948 Winter Olympics he skied the first leg in the relay, but he had a problem with his skis, lost much time and was fourth at the exchange, far behind Sweden and Finland, and the team was out of contention for the gold medal. However, his team mates were able to pass Austria and secure the bronze medal. Evensen ran a little farm and worked in the forest in his home community.