Ivar Nilsson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameIvar Bengt•Nilsson
Used nameIvar•Nilsson
Nick/petnamesIvrige Ivar
Born12 June 1933 in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Västra Götaland (SWE)
Died26 February 2019 in Mölnlycke, Västra Götaland (SWE)
AffiliationsIK Wega, Göteborg (SWE)
NOC Sweden


Known as “Ivrige Ivar” (Eager Ivar), Nilsson was a late bloomer, first appearing at the national championships at age 25. A year later he placed fifth in that event, winning the 5,000 m. This earned him a spot on the Swedish team for the international championships. After winning the 10,000 m at the Europeans, he was considered an outsider for the long distance medals at the Squaw Valley Olympics, and only narrowly missed the podium in the 10k (4th). His greatest international success came in 1962. In front of a 250,000 person crowd (over two days), Nilsson took the bronze in the World Allround Championships in Moscow’s Lenin Stadium. A two-time Swedish champion (1961, 1963), Nilsson continued to compete in major international events through 1965, and bettered a number of Swedish records. His last major event was the 1969 Swedish championships, 10 years after his début. He skated together with Jonny Nilsson for much of his career, but they were not related. Ivar’s older brother, Sven, was a noted Swedish stage actor.

Personal Bests: 500 – 42.6 (1963); 1500 – 2:10.5 (1963); 5000 – 7:42.8 (1964); 10000 – 16:02.9 (1963).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) SWE Ivar Nilsson
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) =7
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
1964 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) SWE Ivar Nilsson
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) =19
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 10

Special Notes