| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date14 February 1928 — 8:00
LocationSkistadion, St. Moritz
Participants41 from 11 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: ?
Intermediate 1: 5.0 km
Intermediate 2: 9.4 km
Intermediate 3: 15.0 km
Intermediate 4: 20.0 km
Intermediate 5: 24.0 km
Intermediate 6: 38.0 km
Intermediate 7: 46.0 km
Maximum Climb: ?
Total Climbing: 1100 m

As in Chamonix, 50 km. cross country was the first skiing event in St. Moritz, and it ended with a big surprise, also for the Swedes: a clean medal sweep for Sweden. Two of their entrants, among them their favorite Sven Utterström, were ill and were replaced before the start, so the Swedish contingent had no big expectations.

The morning start was held in mild weather conditions, but the forecast predicted colder weather during the day. However, this turned out to be completely wrong. One hour after the start the temperature changed completely, with the famous föhn wind coming from the south with the result that the temperature rose to 25° C. (77° F.) in the sun. This created big problems for the skiers, and it ended with one of the slowest 50 km. in the history of skiing, the winning time was one hour behind Thorleif Haug’s winning performance 4 years earlier.

The Norwegian Ole Hegge was in front in the first stage of the race, but at 15 km. Per-Erik Hedlund, a strong lumberjack from Särna, equaled Hegge’s intermediate time, and from then on the Swedes, apparently having done a better job with their skis, totally dominated the race. Hedlund, who was not able to finish the 50 km. in Chamonix four years earlier, opened up a substantial lead, at the 35 km. mark he was almost eight minutes ahead of his fellow countryman Gustaf Jonsson, followed by substitute Volger Andersson another 1:30 behind the leader. Hedlund took his time to stop and prepare his skis, certainly a wise decision, since he was then able to expand his lead substantially. The Norwegians and Finns were really struggling, Hegge was already almost 22 minutes behind the leader, slightly ahead of the best Finn, the eldest of the Lappalainen brothers, Tauno. They were both now behind the slow starting Norwegian Olav Kjelbotn, who had advanced from a modest 11th place to 4th, but without being able to catch up on the Swedish trio. Hedlund won the race with the biggest margin in Olympic skiing history, 13:27 ahead of silver medalist Jonsson, who was slightly ahead of the surprise bronze medalist, the substitute Andersson. The early leader Hegge struggled gallantly in to 5th place, over 25 minutes behind Hedlund, but was able to beat the best of the Finns, Tauno Lappalainen, by half a minute. One of the most demanding events in the history of the Winter Olympics was over.

112Per Erik HedlundSWE4-52:03Gold
26Gustaf JonssonSWE5-05:30Silver
325Volger AnderssonSWE5-05:46Bronze
415Olav KjelbotnNOR5-14:22
532Ole HeggeNOR5-17:58
69Tauno LappalainenFIN5-18:33
736Anders StrömSWE5-21:54
822Johan StøaNOR5-25:30
934Martti LappalainenFIN5-30:09
1037Otto WahlGER5-34:02
113Josef NěmeckýTCH5-35:46
125Hans BauerGER5-36:21
132Andrzej Krzeptowski IIPOL5-36:55
1442Franz DonthTCH5-37:36
1530Walter BussmannSUI5-38:49
167Fritz PellkoferGER5-41:00
1721Robert WampflerSUI5-42:40
188František FišeraTCH5-42:55
1938Józef BujakPOL5-44:19
2041Mattia DemetzITA5-47:47
2110Ferdinando GlückITA5-49:52
2226Carlo GourlaouenSUI5-55:09
2327Joško JanšaYUG5-58:09
2431Minoru NagataJPN6-02:24
2535Subaru TakahashiJPN6-05:25
2629Sakuta TakefushiJPN6-08:50
2724Franciszek KawaPOL6-11:08
2833Stane KmetYUG6-32:07
2911Janko JanšaYUG6-34:59
3040Stane BervarYUG6-46:48
DNF39Josef FeistauerTCH
DNF16Matti RaivioFIN
DNF18John RøenNOR
DNF28Takeharu AsoJPN
DNF28Henri MillanFRA
DNF20Évariste PratFRA
DNF14Hans ZeierSUI
DNF1Adiel PaananenFIN
DNF13Stanisław WilczyńskiPOL
DNF4Camille MédyFRA
DNF19Camille TournierFRA
DNS17Ferenc NémethHUN