| Event type

30 kilometres, Men

Date 5 February 1976 — 9:00
LocationLanglaufstadion, Seefeld
Participants69 from 21 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 174 m
Intermediate 1: 10.0 km
Intermediate 2: 20.0 km
Maximum Climb: 55 m
Total Climbing: 825 m

Since the 1972 Games an equipment revolution had taken place in cross-country skiing. During the 1973-74 season the old wooden skis had been replaced by the new fiberglass ski. Also, a new generation of skiers had taken over, and the Soviet Union had emerged as the leading cross-country nation, not only among the women but also in the men’s events. Also other East European countries had developed top cross-country skiers, notably East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia had won medals at the 1974 World Championships.

As usual, the 30 km race for men was the opening cross-country event. At 10 km, Norwegian Ivar Formo was in the lead, two seconds ahead of the 22-year old Soviet newcomer, Nikolay Bazhukov. At the next intermediate time, 20 km, the Soviet skiers had taken over the race. Bazhukov was in the lead, eight seconds ahead of his teammate Sergey Savelyev, with Ivan Garanin, another Soviet skier, in third place, 17 seconds behind the leader. The biggest surprise come from a young American, 20-year old Bill Koch, who had moved up to fourth place, two seconds ahead of Formo, who had dropped from first to fifth. Juha Mieto, the big Finn who had won silver at the distance at the 1974 World Championships, was also advancing in the field, moving up to sixth place. Mieto, wearing start #2, was the first of the favorites to reach the finish, skiing strongly over the last 10 km. Koch, the surprising American, was next. He had had a nine second lead over Mieto after 20 km, and he took over the first position, bettering Mieto’s time by 22 seconds. When Garanin, next of the top contenders to finish, was not able to better Koch’s time, the chances for a sensational cross-country medal for the USA began to seem possible. But Savelyev, lying second after 20 km, had the strongest finish of all and took over the lead, 28 seconds ahead of Koch. None of the late starting favorites could match the finishing times of Savelyev and Koch. Formo faded badly and ended in 11th place. Bazhyukov, the leader at 20 km, could not keep the pace over the last 10 km and finished behind Mieto in fifth place.

The new Olympic Champion Savelyev was relatively unmerited on the international circuit, his best placing was fifth at the 1975 Holmenkollen over 50 km. He was born in the Amur region in the Far East, and started serious training at the age of 19 when he was a soldier in the Moscow region. He explained that was because it was too cold to train for skiing in the winter in his childhood village, when temperatures could reach -50 degrees Celsius. Bill Koch, the surprising silver medalist, had shown a great talent as a junior, but nobody had expected him to win the first medal for an American in top-level cross-country competition.

135Sergey SavelyevURS1-30:29.38Gold
27Bill KochUSA1-30:57.84Silver
314Ivan GaraninURS1-31:09.29Bronze
42Juha MietoFIN1-31:20.39
551Nikolay BazhukovURS1-31:33.14
647Gert-Dietmar KlauseGDR1-32:00.91
713Albert GigerSUI1-32:17.71
867Arto KoivistoFIN1-32:23.11
963Odd MartinsenNOR1-32:38.91
1056Vasily RochevURS1-32:39.42
1148Ivar FormoNOR1-33:01.68
1236Benny SödergrenSWE1-33:10.98
1329Matti PitkänenFIN1-33:44.74
1462Georg ZipfelFRG1-34:04.71
153Tommy LimbySWE1-34:32.47
1637Gerhard GrimmerGDR1-34:52.15
178Axel LesserGDR1-34:53.14
1821Franz BetzFRG1-34:55.54
1931Oddvar BråNOR1-34:59.57
2033Wiesław GębalaPOL1-35:09.65
2142Christer JohanssonSWE1-35:23.27
2240Juhani RepoFIN1-35:31.06
2316Magne MyrmoNOR1-35:33.34
245Jan StaszelPOL1-35:46.82
2528Edi HauserSUI1-35:50.29
2632Milan JarýTCH1-35:52.55
2726Tim CaldwellUSA1-35:57.97
2845Giulio CapitanioITA1-35:58.29
2946Fredel KälinSUI1-36:09.97
3023Hans SkinstadCAN1-36:16.95
3111Bert BullockCAN1-36:24.55
3234Herbert WachterAUT1-36:28.48
3360Dieter MeinelGDR1-36:37.35
3427Roberto PrimusITA1-36:40.33
3568Sven-Åke LundbäckSWE1-36:40.86
3617Hans SpeicherFRG1-36:52.45
3725Jean-Paul VandelFRA1-37:11.67
3812Renzo ChiocchettiITA1-37:15.82
396Reinhold FeichterAUT1-37:43.73
4038Walter DemelFRG1-37:44.17
4157Ulrico KostnerITA1-37:49.85
4241Edward DayCAN1-38:09.10
4365Yves BlondeauFRA1-38:20.86
4449František ŠimonTCH1-38:34.16
4564Jiří BeranTCH1-38:39.61
4618Ján MichalkoTCH1-38:40.28
4766Jerzy KoryciakPOL1-39:02.46
4843Lyubomir ToskovBUL1-39:10.94
4924Petar PankovBUL1-39:27.77
5069Hansüli KreuzerSUI1-39:58.44
5144Werner VogelAUT1-40:16.10
5253Chris HainesUSA1-40:58.43
534Hristo BarzanovBUL1-41:05.91
5452Pierre SalviFRA1-41:06.69
5530Kiyoshi HayasakaJPN1-41:33.76
5659Reijo PuirasCAN1-41:34.43
5750Ryoji FujikiJPN1-42:59.25
5861Franz GattermannAUT1-43:04.88
5958Bela BodnarUSA1-43:10.73
6020Maksi JelencYUG1-44:20.25
611Michel ThierryFRA1-44:25.33
6255Bahri YılmazTUR1-45:15.78
6315Trausti SveinssonISL1-47:48.45
6419Halldór MatthíassonISL1-50:02.09
6510Marcos Luis JermanARG1-50:06.99
6639Ahmet ÜnalTUR1-51:14.75
679Athanasios KoutsogiannisGRE2-21:20.64
DNF22Efstathios BogdanosGRE
DNF54Władysław PodgórskiPOL