| Event type

15 kilometres, Men

Date 8 February 1976 — 9:00
LocationLanglaufstadion, Seefeld
Participants80 from 23 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 205 m
Intermediate 1: 5.0 km
Intermediate 2: 10.0 km
Maximum Climb: 75 m
Total Climbing: 565 m

The newly crowned Olympic champion in 30 km, Sergey Savelyev, was not in the Soviet quartet for the 15 km race, as he chose to concentrate on the relay and the 50 km race. In his place was another unknown Soviet skier, 21-year old Yevgeny Belyayev. The defending Olympic Champion Sven-Åke Lundbäck was on the Swedish team, and the last World Champion on wooden skis, the 15 km gold medalist from the 1974 World Championships, Norwegian Magne Myrmo, was also among the 80 competitors, but none of them had shown signs of their former brilliance during the Olympic season. The Soviets were highly favored, and the Nordic hopes were the consistent Finn Juha Mieto and the Norwegian Ivar Formo, 1972 Olympic bronze medalist at the distance.

To everyone’s surprise, at 5 km, Arto Koivisto was in the lead, three seconds ahead of the Soviet Union’s Nikolay Bazhukov with his teammate Belyayev another three seconds behind. Another Soviet skier, Ivan Garanin, was in fourth place, and the first four had taken a clear lead over the rest of the field. At 10 km, Bazhukov had taken over the lead, four seconds ahead of Koivisto, with Belyayev third 14 seconds behind and Garanin still fourth. Formo was a distant fifth, almost 40 seconds behind Garanin. Inspired by his team leaders, Koivisto now tried hard to catch Bazhukov. Five kilometers from home they were equal, but then, in a downhill part of the track, Koivisto had to throw himself down to avoid a collision with a tourist who had found his way onto the Olympic track. He lost a lot of time, and Bazhukov finished 2.7 seconds ahead of the fast-finishing Belyayev, with Koivisto able to secure the bronze medal, 21 seconds behind the winner. Only Belyayev had a faster finish than the young American Bill Koch, who was in 15th place after 5 km, 12th after 10 km, advancing to sixth at the finish, only three seconds behind Formo, proving that his silver medal in the 30 km race three days earlier was certainly not just a stroke of good fortune. Defending champion Lundbäck ended in 30th place, and the World Champion on wooden skis from 1974, Magne Myrmo, was a distant 55th, five and a half minutes behind the winner.

The new Olympic Champion was only 22, and born in a village by the Pechora River in the Komi Republic in Northwest Russia. His first international appearance was the 1975 Holmenkollen 15 km race, ending in a modest 32nd place, 2½ minutes behind the winner Juha Mieto.

155Nikolay BazhukovURS43:58.47Gold
27Yevgeny BelyayevURS44:01.10Silver
352Arto KoivistoFIN44:19.25Bronze
478Ivan GaraninURS44:41.98
531Ivar FormoNOR45:29.11
64Bill KochUSA45:32.22
761Georg ZipfelFRG45:38.10
813Odd MartinsenNOR45:41.33
934Gert-Dietmar KlauseGDR45:42.97
1037Juha MietoFIN45:46.27
118Albert GigerSUI45:47.07
1243Franz RenggliSUI45:53.49
1312Benny SödergrenSWE45:59.91
1465Pertti TeurajärviFIN46:04.84
1576Thomas WassbergSWE46:13.35
1635Yury SkobovURS46:16.27
1754Edi HauserSUI46:29.14
1833Jean-Paul PierratFRA46:35.64
1923Herbert WachterAUT46:46.39
2074Pål TyldumNOR46:50.57
2118Giulio CapitanioITA46:51.14
2216Wiesław GębalaPOL46:59.00
2359Tommy LimbySWE47:00.06
2450Ivan LebanovBUL47:02.41
2573Jürgen WolfGDR47:04.49
2629Lyubomir ToskovBUL47:04.87
2768Fredel KälinSUI47:05.39
2810Gerd HeßlerGDR47:08.77
2957Renzo ChiocchettiITA47:11.22
3040Sven-Åke LundbäckSWE47:12.85
311Georg KandlingerFRG47:20.13
3220Risto KiiskinenFIN47:21.06
3339Bert BullockCAN47:23.38
3448František ŠimonTCH47:24.90
3569Ján FajstavrTCH47:25.77
3625Roberto PrimusITA47:29.02
3727Tim CaldwellUSA47:33.59
3844Franz BetzFRG47:39.15
3941Milan JarýTCH47:50.01
4053Jan StaszelPOL48:04.31
4119Petar PankovBUL48:08.46
4215Rudi HornAUT48:10.52
4347Werner VogelAUT48:17.47
4426Władysław PodgórskiPOL48:18.62
4579Hans SpeicherFRG48:28.90
4622Stanislav HenychTCH48:31.23
4732Halldór MatthíassonISL48:42.22
4870Josef VogelAUT48:42.32
4963Gerhard GrimmerGDR48:45.04
5042Kiyoshi HayasakaJPN48:46.93
515Daniel DrezetFRA48:56.97
5277Ronny YeagerUSA48:58.16
5367Fabrizio PedranziniITA48:58.30
5464Doug PetersonUSA49:00.98
5556Magne MyrmoNOR49:26.89
562Hans SkinstadCAN49:30.36
5724Maksi JelencYUG49:35.35
5817Ryoji FujikiJPN49:40.48
5946Edward DayCAN49:59.43
6075Hristo BarzanovBUL50:08.09
6162Roland JeannerodFRA50:18.27
6280Gérard VerguetFRA50:29.28
6360Paul GibbinsGBR51:48.02
6451Bahri YılmazTUR51:57.08
6511Douglas ElliottGBR52:14.27
6636Sacit ÖzbeyTUR52:15.41
6771Ernie LennieCAN52:27.04
6828Keith OliverGBR52:31.00
693Trausti SveinssonISL52:50.29
7072Şeref ÇınarTUR52:50.67
7138Marcos Luis JermanARG53:43.34
726Yavuz ÖzbeyTUR55:47.55
7345Ueng Ming-YihTPE57:02.75
749Martín Tomás JermanARG1-00:07.39
7521Efstathios BogdanosGRE1-05:51.28
7614Liang Reng-GueyTPE1-06:02.79
7749Shen Li-ChienTPE1-06:45.77
7830Athanasios KoutsogiannisGRE1-07:49.43
DNF58Matías José JermanARG
DNF66Jan DragonPOL