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Knut Johannesen

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 2
Bronze 1
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKnut•Johannesen
Used nameKnut•Johannesen
Born6 November 1933 in Oslo (NOR)
Measurements183 cm / 85 kg
AffiliationsASK, Oslo (NOR)
NOC(s) Norway


One of the world’s best skaters for nearly a decade, Knut Johannesen won all titles available to him. His first major title came in 1957, when he won the World Championships, a title he would grab again in his career’s final championship. He also won the European Championships twice, 1959 and 1960. His first Olympic medal came in 1956, when he was pipped for the 10,000 m gold by Sweden’s Sigvard Ericsson. After another silver in the 1960 5000 m, Johannesen took revenge for Cortina by grabbing the 10,000 m gold medal. He did so in a fabulous time of 15:46.6, becoming the first man to beat 16 minutes in that distance. Always a long distance specialist, “Kupper’n” won two more Olympic medals in his final Olympics, winning the 5,000 m and completing his set of 10,000 m medals with a bronze. Johannes was also dominant in Norwegian Championships, winning it a record eight times between 1955 and 1963, being runner-up in 1956 and 1964. In addition to his titles, he won the Oscar Mathisen Award in 1959 and was named Norwegian athlete of the year in 1960. Johannesen worked as a carpenter, even during his competitive career, but later operated a gas station.

Personal Bests: 500 – 42.3 (1960); 1500 – 2:09.4 (1963); 5000 – 7:37.8 (1963); 10000 – 15:42.9 (1964).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Representing 2nd NOC As
1956 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 1,500 metres, Men Olympic 9 NOR Knut Johannesen
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 8
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
1960 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic =20 NOR Knut Johannesen
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 11
  5,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1964 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold NOR Knut Johannesen
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 3 Bronze

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1956 Winter Olympics 31 January 1956 Speed Skating (Skating) 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 16:36.9 2
1960 Winter Olympics 27 February 1960 Speed Skating (Skating) 10,000 metres, Men Final Standings 15:46.6 WR 1
1964 Winter Olympics 5 February 1964 Speed Skating (Skating) 5,000 metres, Men Final Standings 7:38.4 1

Other participations

Games Role Details
1960 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony
1964 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony

Special Notes