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Harald Grønningen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 3
Bronze 0
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameHarald•Grønningen
Used nameHarald•Grønningen
Born9 October 1934 in Lensvik, Agdenes (NOR)
Died26 August 2016 in Lensvik, Agdenes (NOR)
Measurements191 cm / 80 kg
AffiliationsSportsklubben Freidig, Trondheim (NOR) / Lensvik IL, Lensvik, Agdenes (NOR)
NOC(s) Norway

Biography

Harald Grønningen had one of the greatest profiles among Norwegian cross country skiers in the 1960s. He competed at every Winter Olympic Games and World Championships from 1960 to 1970. Measuring 1,91 m – unusually tall for a cross-country skier, he was nicknamed “Elgen” (the Elk), and was very popular among skiing fans, much of it due to his modest approach. He came to national prominence in 1959, aged 24, when he was Norwegian Champion over the 15 km distance. He was national champion nine times in the period 1959-68. After winning a silver medal for the Norwegian relay team at the 1960 Winter Games, he won an individual silver medal in the 50 km event at the 1962 World Championships in Zakopane. At the 1964 Winter Olympics Grønningen placed second in both the 15 km and the 30 km behind his Finnish rival Eero Mäntyranta. After winning a 1966 World Championships relay gold medal in Oslo, his greatest moment came at the 1968 Winter Olympics when he won the 15 km race, 1.9 seconds ahead of his arch rival Mäntyranta. He collected another Olympic gold medal as a member of Norway’s relay team. Grønningen was a farmer in his birth municipality of Lensvik, northwest of Trondheim, until his retirement, specializing in growing strawberries.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Representing 2nd NOC As
1960 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 15 kilometres, Men Olympic 11 NOR Harald Grønningen
  50 kilometres, Men Olympic 14
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Norway 2 Silver
1964 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 15 kilometres, Men Olympic 2 Silver NOR Harald Grønningen
  30 kilometres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  50 kilometres, Men Olympic 6
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Norway 4
1968 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 15 kilometres, Men Olympic 1 Gold NOR Harald Grønningen
  30 kilometres, Men Olympic 13
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Norway 1 Gold

Special Notes