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Thomas Wassberg

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameThomas Lars•Wassberg
Used nameThomas•Wassberg
Born27 March 1956 in Lennartsfors, Årjäng (SWE)
Measurements185 cm / 75 kg
AffiliationsÅsarna IK, Åsarna, Berg (SWE)
NOC(s) Sweden

Biography

Thomas Wassberg was one of the best cross-country skiers of the 1980s. He had his breakthrough as a 21-year-old, when he placed second and fourth at the 1977 World Cup competitions in Lapland. In 1980 he was awarded the Swedish Dagbladet gold medal, but refused to accept it, protesting that his teammate Sven-Åke Lundbäck had not been awarded the medal in 1978 after his successes at the World Championships. Wassberg also received the Holmenkollen medal in 1980.

Wassberg competed at four Winter Olympics, winning four gold medals, two individually and two in relays. He also won three gold medals, three silvers and one bronze medal at three World Championships. In 1987 at Oberstdorf he showed his supremacy winning medals in all four cross-country races: gold in 30 km and relay, and silver in 15 km and 50 km. In 1977 he won the then unofficial overall World Cup title, and was placed second officially in 1982, 1984 and 1987. Wassberg won six World Cup races and made the top three 18 times. He won the 50 km three times at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival (1980, 1982 and 1987), also winning the 15 km twice (1979, 1985). In addition, he won eight individual Swedish Championship titles, seven in the relay, and another 24 in the team events between 1979 and 1988.

Wassberg was involved in a historic sprint battle for the gold medal in the 15 km race at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. In an interval start event he defeated Finnish skier Juha Mieto by the narrowest of margins, 1/100th of a second. This gave rise to a rule change, in which it was decided that the minimum margin to win a race win in cross-country shall be 1/10th of a second. Wassberg’s proposal to share the gold medal was not accepted by the IOC.

After Wassberg concluded his active career be became a sports reporter for Sveriges Radio and coach for the cross-country skiing club Åsarna IK. In 2009 he appeared in the show contests Masters Champion in Swedish Television. Today he manages the preparation of ski tracks for Åsarna IK, organizes bird hunts for tourists and works in the forest.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1976 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 15 kilometres, Men Olympic 15 Representing Sweden    
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Sweden 4
1980 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 15 kilometres, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing Sweden    
  30 kilometres, Men Olympic 4
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Sweden 5
1984 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 30 kilometres, Men Olympic 14 Representing Sweden    
  50 kilometres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Sweden 1 Gold
1988 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 30 kilometres, Men Olympic 42 Representing Sweden    
  50 kilometres, Men Olympic AC
  4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men Olympic Sweden 1 Gold

Other participations

Games Role Details
1988 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Sweden    

Special Notes