Thomas Wassberg

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Thomas Wassberg
Thomas Wassberg 2013-12-11 001.jpg
Wassberg in 2013
CountryFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Full nameLars Thomas Wassberg
Born (1956-03-27) 27 March 1956 (age 63)
Lennartsfors, Värmland, Sweden
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Ski club Åsarna IK
World Cup career
Seasons 19821988
Individual wins6
Team wins7
Indiv. podiums18
Team podiums10
Indiv. starts44
Team starts11
Overall titles0 – (2nd in 1982, 1984, 1987)

Thomas Lars Wassberg (born 27 March 1956) is a Swedish former cross-country skier. A fast skating style – push for every leg – is still called "Wassberg" after him in several countries. Wassberg's skiing idols when growing up were Sixten Jernberg and Oddvar Brå. He has described his mental strength and physical fitness as his greatest abilities as a skier, with his main weakness being a lack of sprinting ability. [1]

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Sixten Jernberg Swedish cross-country skier

Edy Sixten Jernberg was a Swedish cross-country skier and one of the most successful cross-country skiers of all time. Between 1952 and 1964 he took part in 363 ski races, finishing within the podium in 263 and winning 134 of them; during this period he won four world titles and nine Olympic medals. In 12 starts over three consecutive Winter Games he never finished worse than fifth place, and between 1955 and 1960, he won 86 out of 161 competitions.

Oddvar Brå is a Norwegian former cross-country skier. He was among the best skiers in Norway, the three-times winner of the World Cup and the winner of 16 national championships. His success in the major international championships was more modest.

Contents

Wassberg won four Olympic gold medals: in 15 km (1980), 50 km (1984), and the 4 × 10 km relay (1984, 1988), and served as the Olympic flag bearer for Sweden in 1988. [2] At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, he earned three golds (50 km: 1982, 30 km: 1987, and 4 × 10 km relay: 1987), three silvers (15 km: 1985, 1987; 50 km (1987), and one bronze (4 × 10 km relay: 1985). Additionally, Wassberg won the 50 km at the Holmenkollen ski festival three times (1980, 1982 and 1987) and the 15 km twice (1979, 1985). [3]

FIS Nordic World Ski Championships international Nordic skiing competitions

The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is a biennial nordic skiing event organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS). The World Championships was started in 1925 for men and opened for women's participation in 1954. World Championship events include nordic skiing's three disciplines: cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and nordic combined. From 1924 to 1939, the World Championships were held every year, including the Winter Olympics. After World War II, the World Championships were held every four years from 1950 to 1982. Since 1985, the World Championships have been held in odd-numbered years.

At the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Wassberg edged out Finland's Juha Mieto by 0.01 seconds in the 15 km, the closest cross-country skiing race in Olympic history. Wassberg subsequently suggested to Mieto that the gold medal should be split between them "as one one-hundredth of a second is nothing in a 15-kilometer race". This incident led the International Ski Federation (FIS) to change their timing to the nearest one-tenth of a second. It also resulted in an apocryphal urban legend that Wassberg and Mieto's medals were cut in half and re-welded into half-gold, half-silver medals. [4] At the 1984 Winter Olympics, Wassberg beat out fellow Swede Gunde Svan by 4.9 seconds in the 50 km, the closest margin of victory ever in that event until Giorgio Di Centa edged out Yevgeny Dementyev by 0.8 seconds at the 2006 Winter Olympics though the 2006 event was a mass start event while the 1984 event was an interval start event.

1980 Winter Olympics 13th edition of Olympic Winter Games, held in Lake Placid, New York, USA between 13-24 February 1980

The 1980 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIII Olympic Winter Games, was a multi-sport event which was celebrated from February 13, through February 24, 1980, in Lake Placid, New York, United States. This was the second time the Upstate New York village hosted the Games, after 1932. The only other candidate city to bid for the Games was Vancouver-Garibaldi, British Columbia, Canada, which withdrew before the final vote

Lake Placid, New York Village in New York, United States

Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,521.

Finland Republic in Northern Europe

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.

He won the World Cup in 1977, and in 1980 was awarded the Holmenkollen medal. For some reason his teammate Sven-Åke Lundbäck did not receive the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 1978. In protest to this decision Wassberg refused to accept his Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 1980. [3] [5]

FIS Cross-Country World Cup international cross-country skiing competition during northern winter

The FIS Cross-Country World Cup is an annual cross-country skiing competition, arranged by the International Ski Federation (FIS) since 1981. The competition was arranged unofficially between 1973 and 1981, although it received provisional recognition on the 31st FIS Congress, 29–30 April 1977 in Bariloche, Argentina.

Sven-Åke Lundbäck Swedish cross-country skier

Sven-Åke Lundbäck is a former Swedish cross-country skier. He competed at the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympics in the 15 km, 30 km and 4×10 km events and won a gold medal over 15 km in 1972. He was close to a bronze medal in the 4×10 km relay in 1972, but fell near the finish; he had another fourth place in the relay in 1980.

The Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal is an annual award "for the most significant Swedish sports achievement of the year". It has been awarded by a jury led by the Swedish morning paper Svenska Dagbladet since 1925. According to its statutes the Medal may be awarded in November or December to either an individual sportsperson or a team. An individual can be awarded the Medal no more than twice, and to receive a second medal, that athlete must be "regarded a class of his own".

According to Bengt Erik Bengtsson, Chief of the Nordic Office of the FIS from 1984 to 2004, Wassberg was the first to suggest in 1984 the splitting of the sport of cross country skiing into classic and freestyle disciplines. This was subsequently implemented by FIS in 1986. [6]

After retiring from competitions Wassberg worked as a sports reporter for Swedish Radio and a cross-country skiing coach for his club Åsarna IK. In 2009 he appeared on Swedish television in the show contests Mästarnas mästare , and in 2016 participated in Let's Dance 2016 which was broadcast on TV4. [7] In the 2010s he oversaw the preparation of ski tracks for Åsarna IK, organized bird hunting events for tourists and worked as a forester. [3]

Sveriges Radio Swedish government-operated radio broadcaster

Sveriges Radio AB is Sweden's national publicly funded radio broadcaster. Sveriges Radio is a public limited company, owned by an independent foundation, previously funded through a licensing fee, the level of which is decided by the Swedish Riksdag. As of January 1 2019, the funds stem from standard taxation. No advertising is permitted. Its legal status could be described as that of a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization.

Mästarnas mästare is a Swedish reality competition show which each season feature a number of former athletic stars who all became "masters" of their individual sports. In the show the athletes competes against each other in a number of different athletic challenges. All contestants have in common that they have won at least one gold medal in their respective sports and they have all ended their careers. The show has been broadcast on SVT since 2009. The show was awarded the Kristallen award in 2010 in the category "Reality Show of the Year" and a Kristallen award in 2011 in the category "Show of the Year". The show is hosted by Michael Leijnegard.

Let's Dance 2016 is the eleventh season of the Swedish celebrity dancing show Let's Dance. Hosts are as previous David Hellenius and Jessica Almenäs. The show is broadcast on TV4.

Olympic results

 Year  Age  15 km 30 km 50 km 4 × 10 km 
 relay 
1976 19 15 4
1980 23 Gold 4 5
1984 27 14 Gold Gold
1988 31 42 DNF Gold

World Championship results

 Year  Age  15 km 30 km 50 km 4 × 10 km 
 relay 
1982 251816Gold5
1985 28Silver4Bronze
1987 30SilverGoldSilverGold

World Cup results

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS). [8]

World Cup standings

 Season  Age Overall
1982 262
1983 275
1984 282
1985 293
1986 3015
1987 312
1988 3219

Individual podiums

No.SeasonDateLocationRaceLevelPlace
1 1981–82 9 January 1982 Flag of Germany.svg Reit im Winkl, West Germany15 km IndividualWorld Cup3rd
216 January 1982 Flag of Switzerland.svg Le Brassus, Switzerland15 km IndividualWorld Cup2nd
327 February 1982 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway50 km IndividualWorld Championships [1] 1st
412 March 1982 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden30 km IndividualWorld Cup3rd
519 March 1982 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Štrbské Pleso, Czechoslovakia15 km IndividualWorld Cup2nd
6 1982–83 26 February 1983 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden30 km IndividualWorld Cup2nd
727 March 1983 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Labrador City, Canada30 km IndividualWorld Cup3rd
8 1983–84 19 February 1984 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Sarajevo, Yugoslavia50 km IndividualOlympic Games [1] 1st
925 February 1984 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden30 km IndividualWorld Cup2nd
102 March 1984 Flag of Finland.svg Lahti, Finland15 km IndividualWorld Cup2nd
11 1984–85 22 January 1985 Flag of Austria.svg Seefeld, Austria15 km IndividualWorld Championships [1] 2nd
129 March 1985 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden30 km IndividualWorld Cup3rd
1314 March 1985 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway15 km IndividualWorld Cup1st
14 1985–86 8 March 1986 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden30 km Individual CWorld Cup1st
15 1986–87 12 February 1987 Flag of Germany.svg Oberstdorf, West Germany30 km Individual CWorld Championships [1] 1st
1615 February 1987 Flag of Germany.svg Oberstdorf, West Germany15 km Individual CWorld Championships [1] 2nd
1721 February 1987 Flag of Germany.svg Oberstdorf, West Germany50 km Individual FWorld Championships [1] 2nd
1821 March 1987 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway50 km Individual CWorld Cup1st

Team podiums

No.SeasonDateLocationRaceLevelPlaceTeammates
1 1983–84 16 February 1984 Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Sarajevo, Yugoslavia4 × 10 km RelayOlympic Games [1] 1st Kohlberg / Ottosson / Svan
226 February 1984 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden4 × 10 km RelayWorld Cup1st Östlund / Ottosson / Svan
3  1984–85  24 January 1985 Flag of Austria.svg Seefeld, Austria4 × 10 km RelayWorld Championships [1] 3rd Östlund / Eriksson / Svan
410 March 1985 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden4 × 10 km RelayWorld Cup2nd Östlund / Mogren / Svan
517 March 1985 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway4 × 10 km RelayWorld Cup1st Eriksson / Danielsson / Svan
6  1985–86  13 March 1986 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway4 × 10 km Relay FWorld Cup3rd Majbäck / Håland / Danielsson
7 1986–87 17 February 1987 Flag of Germany.svg Oberstdorf, West Germany4 × 10 km Relay FWorld Championships [1] 1st Östlund / Svan / Mogren
88 March 1987 Flag of Sweden.svg Falun, Sweden4 × 10 km Relay CWorld Cup1st Östlund / Mogren / Majbäck
919 March 1987 Flag of Norway.svg Oslo, Norway4 × 10 km Relay CWorld Cup1st Ottosson / Mogren / Eriksson
10 1987–88 24 February 1988 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Calgary, Canada4 × 10 km Relay FOlympic Games [1] 1st Ottosson / Svan / Mogren

Note:1 Until the 1999 World Championships and the 1994 Winter Olympics, World Championship and Olympic races were included in the World Cup scoring system.

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References

  1. "Cross Country Legend Thomas Wassberg (SWE) in Interview". Fischer Sports . 14 November 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  2. Sweden. sports-reference.com
  3. 1 2 3 Thomas Wassberg. sports-reference.com
  4. Perman, Cindy (2013). New York Curiosities, 2nd: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 151. ISBN   9780762774968.
  5. Thomas Wassberg. Swedish Olympic Committee
  6. Bengt Erik Bengtsson (2010). "Cross country skating: how it started" . Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  7. "Deltagare i Let's dance – tv4.se". tv4.se. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  8. "Athlete : WASSBERG Thomas". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
Preceded by
Malmö FF
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
1980
Succeeded by
Annichen Kringstad