| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date20 February 1952 — 10:00
LocationHolmenkollen Langrennssentret, Oslo
Participants36 from 13 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 250 m
Intermediate 1: 13.0 km
Intermediate 2: 30.5 km
Intermediate 3: 42.0 km
Maximum Climb: ?
Total Climbing: ?

The 50 km. event took place two days after the 18 km. The snow conditions were difficult, as temperature changes forced most of the skiers to re-wax their skies up to three times during the race. The Swedes hoped to avenge their disappointing results in the short distance event. Their favorites were Gunnar Eriksson, World Champion in 1950 and the defending Olympic champion, Nils Karlsson.

At 13 km. World Champion Eriksson, who started eighth, was a clear leader, almost a minute ahead of two other early starters, Norwegians Harald Maartmann and Olav Økern. But Eriksson got into trouble with his skis and ended in 12th place. Økern, a veteran at 40-years-old, had spent over two years as a prisoner in Germany during the war. By 30,5 km. things had changed. The Finn Veikko Hakulinen, aged 27 but still a newcomer on the international scene, had taken the lead, 20 seconds faster than the Norwegian Magnar Estenstad. At 42 km. Hakulinen had increased his lead to 2:10, with Estenstad still in second position. The 33-year-old Finn Eero Kolehmainen had moved up to third position, 50 seconds behind Estenstad.

The first skier to finish was the first starter, Kalevi Mononen of Finland, but a few minutes later Økern was able to beat his time and take over the lead. Then Hakulinen finished in superb style with the famous final time of 3:33.33, bettering Økern’s time by over five minutes. Estenstad was able to keep ahead of Økern, but then the final starter, Kolehmainen, had a strong finish, beating Estenstad by 17 seconds and securing a Finnish double. The Finnish coach, Veli Saarinen had a well organized crew around the track, about 300 ”Finnish tourists”, including about seven with a radio. His team would regularly report snow conditions around the track, allowing for the optimal choice for re-waxing the skis (which might one minute to do, but would gain several minutes in ski time). Also, Saarinen was able to report tactics and split times to the skiers.

117Veikko HakulinenFIN3-33:33Gold
237Eero KolehmainenFIN3-38:11Silver
332Magnar EstenstadNOR3-38:28Bronze
47Olav ØkernNOR3-38:45
51Kalevi MononenFIN3-39:21
627Nils KarlssonSWE3-39:30
719Edvin LandsemNOR3-40:43
82Harald MaartmannNOR3-43:43
913Pekka KuvajaFIN3-46:31
1018Anders TörnkvistSWE3-49:22
1114Benoît CarraraFRA3-55:16
128Gunnar ErikssonSWE3-55:45
136Arthur HerrdinSWE3-57:46
1431Jaroslav CardalTCH4-01:49
154Otto BeyelerSUI4-06:15
1629Alfred RochSUI4-09:39
179Karl HischierSUI4-13:46
1830Severino CompagnoniITA4-16:13
1922Antenore CuelITA4-16:26
2026Sepp SchnyderSUI4-18:45
2124František BalvínTCH4-21:19
2210Gheorghe OlteanuROU4-23:08
233Ion SumedreaROU4-24:45
2438Dumitru FrățilăROU4-30:13
2533Hristo DonchevBUL4-30:35
2640Juku PentGER4-30:56
2739Pál SajgóHUN4-38:34
2835Gervais GindreFRA4-39:31
2916Ivar StefánssonISL4-39:50
3036Jón KristjánssonISL4-41:32
3125Ignác BereczHUN4-46:23
3223Ion HebedeanuROU4-47:58
3311Matthías KristjánssonISL4-48:47
DNF20Cedric SloaneAUS
DNF21Karl SchüßlerGER
DNF34Bruce HaslingdenAUS