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Sven Utterström

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameSven Ludvig•Utterström
Used nameSven•Utterström
Born16 May 1901 in Boden (SWE)
Died7 May 1979 in Boden (SWE)
AffiliationsBodens BK, Boden (SWE)
NOC Sweden


Sven “Uttern” Utterström won the 50 km cross-country event at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in 1929 and 1930. He was only the third non-Norwegian and the first Swede to win any event there. He was placed only ninth in the 18 km after being ill in his first Olympic appearance in 1928. Although considered to be a 50 km specialist, he won the 18 km four years later in Lake Placid by a margin of two minutes. In 1930, he won the 50 km at the World Championships, while at the 1933 Worlds he won silver in the 50 km and was on the winning relay team. In 1925 and 1928 he was a two-time winner of the Vasaloppet, tying in 1928 with Per-Erik Hedlund. Utterström and Hedlund were best friends and wanted to share the victory. They went side-by-side over the line but Hedlund was declared the winner after a jury meeting, but they refused to accept the jury’s decision and angrily returned their prizes. Utterström won four Swedish Championships, all of them in the 30 km (1922, 1928, 1930, 1933). Utterström started in 148 races, winning 61 times and was on the podium another 48 times.

Utterström was awarded the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 1929, shared with Gillis Grafström. Together with his brother Johan he starred in a Swedish documentary in 1931 called “I slagbjörnens spår” (On the Bear’s Tracks). The film was shot in British Columbia in Canada and in Seattle in the United States and follows the brothers’ expedition into the wilderness. In 1976 he published his memoirs. In 2002 his hometown of Boden christened a memorial stone in his honor.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) SWE Sven Utterström
18 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 9
1932 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) SWE Sven Utterström
18 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 6

Special Notes