| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date 2 February 1956 — 8:00
LocationStadio della Neve, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Participants33 from 13 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 250 m
Intermediate 1: 10.0 km
Intermediate 2: 20.0 km
Intermediate 3: 25.0 km
Intermediate 4: 30.0 km
Intermediate 5: 40.0 km
Maximum Climb: 150 m
Total Climbing: 1,300 m

The event was run in very cold weather with temperatures of -10° C. (14° F.) at the start. Vladimir Kuzin, World 50 km. champion from 1954, had shown signs of illness and was withdrawn from the 50 km. race, as the Soviet team leaders chose to save him for the relay two days later. Everybody then expected the 50 km. to be a duel between the defending Olympic champion Veikko Hakulinen and the consistent Swede, Sixten Jernberg, which proved to be correct. Jernberg, with two Olympic silver medals already in his pocket, took the command from the start. Starting five minutes behind his arch rival, he had a clear, but not decisive lead at the halfway point, 35 seconds faster than his Finnish rival. Anatoly Shelyukhin from Soviet was in third place, closely followed by his countryman Fyodor Terentyev, a 30-year old Karelian who came sixth at the 30 km. event six days earlier.

Jernberg steadily increased the gap over Hakulinen and crossed the finish line 1:18 ahead of the defending champion. Terentyev also had a strong finish, passing the fading Shelyukhin by 35 km. and finished as a clear bronze medal winner. Eero Kolehmainen, the silver medalist from 1952, also passed Shelyukhin in the final stage of the race, but had to be content with fourth place. The Soviets again had the strongest team, all four skiers placing among the first seven. The Norwegians had been disappointing in cross-country at Cortina and had another bad day, their best placing a very disappointing 14th place.

Sixten Jernberg was one of the most outstanding long distance skiers in the history of cross-country skiing. Besides winning two Olympic and two World Championships gold medals at the 50 km., he won the famous Vasaloppet twice. However, he was not able to win the prestigious Holmenkollen 50 km., placing second in 1954 and 1964 as his best results in the forest outside Oslo. However, he did claim a victory over 15 km. in 1954.

138Sixten JernbergSWE2-50:27Gold
233Veikko HakulinenFIN2-51:45Silver
32Fyodor TerentyevURS2-53:32Bronze
423Eero KolehmainenFIN2-56:17
520Anatoly ShelyukhinURS2-56:40
68Pavel KolchinURS2-58:00
730Viktor BaranovURS3-03:55
84Antti SivonenFIN3-04:16
912Veini KontinenFIN3-06:15
105Sture GrahnSWE3-06:32
117Arthur OlssonSWE3-10:03
1218Inge LimbergSWE3-10:19
1325Stanisław BukowskiPOL3-10:49
149Oddmund JensenNOR3-11:14
1521Edvin LandsemNOR3-11:43
1614Vigilio MichITA3-11:59
1736Gianni CarraraITA3-14:39
1829Christian WengerSUI3-17:49
1911Fritz ZurbuchenSUI3-19:42
2015Werner MoringGER3-20:32
2110Gioachino BusinITA3-21:05
2231Clarence ServoldCAN3-21:50
231Battista MismettiITA3-23:15
2417Alfred KronigSUI3-23:21
2528Tatsuo MiyaoJPN3-25:47
2632Hristo DonchevBUL3-26:06
273André HugueninSUI3-31:04
2839Tom CairneyGBR3-44:54
2924Toby GrahamGBR3-48:17
3013Richard AylmerGBR4-11:40
DQBirger VestermoNOR1
DQŠtefan RobačYUG
DQMartin StokkenNOR