| Event type

50 kilometres, Men

Date19 February 1984 — 7:45
LocationVeliko Polje, Igman
Participants54 from 21 countries
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 132 m
Intermediate 1: 7.0 km
Intermediate 2: 19.7 km
Intermediate 3: 32.0 km
Intermediate 4: 44.7 km
Maximum Climb: 36 m
Total Climbing: 1,618 m

Defending Olympic Champion Nikolay Zimyatov and the reigning World Champion Thomas Wassberg were considered among the favorites, but Gunde Svan had been the most successful cross-country skier so far at the 1984 Olympics, with two gold and one bronze medal already in his pocket. Wassberg had the advantage of starting behind most of his rivals, with the exception of Zimyatov, starting 1½ minutes behind Wassberg.

The race turned out to be one of the most thrilling duels in the history of 50 km cross-country skiing, with the two Swedes playing the main roles. It was a duel between experience represented by Wassberg and youth represented by Svan. After 7 km Wassberg had a five second lead, while at 19.7 km he had increased his lead to 15 seconds. The Swiss Andi Grünenfelder, starting half a minute ahead of Wassberg, had followed in the Swede’s heels from around 10 km, was in third position, 33 seconds behind, but now struggling to keep Wassberg’s pace. At 32 km Svan struck back, and had a seven second lead over his teammate. Wassberg had on his heels a row of strong skiers that had started ahead of him: the two Finns Aki Karvonen and Harri Kirvesniemi and the Norwegian Jan Lindvall. The trio was able to hang on to Wassberg for almost the rest of the race, but Grünenfelder, still in third place, fell behind. At the last official intermediate point, 44.7 km, Svan was still in the lead, but now with only a one second margin to Wassberg. Karvonen, Kirvesniemi, Grünenfelder and Lindvall followed, but they were far behind the Swedish duo and had to settle for the fight for bronze. Svan was still skiing well, but Wassberg then increased his speed and crossed the line 4.9 seconds ahead of his young rival, the narrowest victory margin in the Olympic 50 km race until mass start was introduced for the distance at the 2006 Games in Torino. Finland’s Karvonen secured the bronze medal, followed by Kirvesniemi. Due to his strong finish, Lindvall passed Grünenfelder on the final stage of the race and advanced to fifth.

148Thomas WassbergSWE2-15:55.8Gold
238Gunde SvanSWE2-16:00.7Silver
346Aki KarvonenFIN2-17:04.7Bronze
443Harri KirvesniemiFIN2-18:34.1
541Jan LindvallNOR2-19:27.1
647Andi GrünenfelderSUI2-19:46.2
730Aleksandr ZavyalovURS2-20:27.6
819Vladimir SakhnovURS2-20:53.7
940Konrad HallenbarterSUI2-21:11.6
1024Juha MietoFIN2-21:53.1
118Lars Erik EriksenNOR2-22:09.5
1222Tor Håkon HolteNOR2-22:12.7
1351Nikolay ZimyatovURS2-22:15.0
1416Jan OttossonSWE2-22:24.0
157Kari RistanenFIN2-23:10.6
1612Aleksandr BatyukURS2-23:17.0
1714Bill KochUSA2-24:02.3
1832Audun EndestadUSA2-24:14.4
1925Giachem GuidonSUI2-24:25.9
2039Pierre HarveyCAN2-25:04.1
212Gianfranco PolvaraITA2-25:07.5
2245Maurilio De ZoltITA2-25:14.9
2331Miloš BečvářTCH2-25:23.7
2433Alois StadloberAUT2-25:26.3
2510Markus FähndrichSUI2-25:26.4
2621Dan SimoneauUSA2-25:43.1
2736Józef ŁuszczekPOL2-25:46.9
2844Dominique LocatelliFRA2-26:21.3
295Franz GattermannAUT2-26:40.8
3050Giorgio VanzettaITA2-27:08.3
3155Jim GalanesUSA2-28:00.7
3215Dušan ĐurišičYUG2-28:23.4
3327Peter JuricAUT2-28:38.8
3429Giulio CapitanioITA2-28:51.7
354Josef SchneiderFRG2-29:29.5
3634Janež KršinarYUG2-30:16.2
3728Franz SchöbelFRG2-30:30.2
3842Peter ZipfelFRG2-30:57.7
3913Anders LarssonSWE2-31:43.6
4035Milush IvanchevBUL2-32:15.9
4111José GiroESP2-33:31.5
4223Jože KlemenčičYUG2-35:22.4
4337Uwe WünschGDR2-35:48.9
449Mark MooreGBR2-36:32.8
4520John SpotswoodGBR2-38:03.2
4617Miguel PratsESP2-38:07.0
4726Satoshi SatoJPN2-39:43.1
483David HislopAUS2-39:53.1
4918Chris AllenAUS2-44:19.1
501Ricardo HollerARG3-05:41.2
DNF54Uwe BellmannGDR
DNF53Ove AunliNOR
DNF6Kazunari SasakiJPN
DNF49Atanas SimitchievBUL
DNS56Jean-Denis JaussaudFRA
DNS52Jochen BehleFRG