Wassberg in 2013
|Full name||Lars Thomas Wassberg|
|Born||27 March 1956|
Lennartsfors, Värmland, Sweden
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Ski club||Åsarna IK|
|World Cup career|
|Overall titles||0 – (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.
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. 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).
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 ski 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.In the 2010s he oversaw the preparation of ski tracks for Åsarna IK, organized bird hunting events for tourists and worked as a forester.
All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).
|Year||Age||15 km||30 km||50 km|| 4 × 10 km |
|Year||Age||15 km||30 km||50 km|| 4 × 10 km |
|1||1981–82||9 January 1982||15 km Individual||World Cup||3rd|
|2||16 January 1982||15 km Individual||World Cup||2nd|
|3||27 February 1982||50 km Individual||World Championships ||1st|
|4||12 March 1982||30 km Individual||World Cup||3rd|
|5||19 March 1982||15 km Individual||World Cup||2nd|
|6||1982–83||26 February 1983||30 km Individual||World Cup||2nd|
|7||27 March 1983||30 km Individual||World Cup||3rd|
|8||1983–84||19 February 1984||50 km Individual||Olympic Games ||1st|
|9||25 February 1984||30 km Individual||World Cup||2nd|
|10||2 March 1984||15 km Individual||World Cup||2nd|
|11||1984–85||22 January 1985||15 km Individual||World Championships ||2nd|
|12||9 March 1985||30 km Individual||World Cup||3rd|
|13||14 March 1985||15 km Individual||World Cup||1st|
|14||1985–86||8 March 1986||30 km Individual C||World Cup||1st|
|15||1986–87||12 February 1987||30 km Individual C||World Championships ||1st|
|16||15 February 1987||15 km Individual C||World Championships ||2nd|
|17||21 February 1987||50 km Individual F||World Championships ||2nd|
|18||21 March 1987||50 km Individual C||World Cup||1st|
|1||1983–84||16 February 1984||4 × 10 km Relay||Olympic Games ||1st||Kohlberg / Ottosson / Svan|
|2||26 February 1984||4 × 10 km Relay||World Cup||1st||Östlund / Ottosson / Svan|
|3||1984–85||24 January 1985||4 × 10 km Relay||World Championships ||3rd||Östlund / Eriksson / Svan|
|4||10 March 1985||4 × 10 km Relay||World Cup||2nd||Östlund / Mogren / Svan|
|5||17 March 1985||4 × 10 km Relay||World Cup||1st||Eriksson / Danielsson / Svan|
|6||1985–86||13 March 1986||4 × 10 km Relay F||World Cup||3rd||Majbäck / Håland / Danielsson|
|7||1986–87||17 February 1987||4 × 10 km Relay F||World Championships ||1st||Östlund / Svan / Mogren|
|8||8 March 1987||4 × 10 km Relay C||World Cup||1st||Östlund / Mogren / Majbäck|
|9||19 March 1987||4 × 10 km Relay C||World Cup||1st||Ottosson / Mogren / Eriksson|
|10||1987–88||24 February 1988||4 × 10 km Relay F||Olympic Games ||1st||Ottosson / Svan / Mogren|
Gunde Anders Svan is a Swedish former cross-country skier and auto racing driver. During his cross-country skiing career he won a total of four gold, one silver and one bronze medals at the Winter Olympics. Svan won a total of seven golds, three silvers, and one bronze at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Svan also won the 15 km once (1983) and the 50 km twice at the Holmenkollen ski festival. In 1984, he earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal, and in 1985, he earned the Holmenkollen medal. He is currently active as a board member of the International Ski Federation.
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.
Ove Robert Aunli is a Norwegian former cross-country skier. He took the Olympic bronze medal in 1980 Lake Placid when Thomas Wassberg beat Juha Mieto by one-hundredth of a second for the gold medal, and won a silver medal as part of Norway's 4 × 10 km relay team.
Berit Kristine Aunli, née Kvello, is a Norwegian former cross-country skier. She won her first international championship medal as a member of the Norwegian team that won the bronze medal at the 4 × 5 km relay at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Anette Bøe is a former Norwegian cross-country skier. Bøe won her first international medal when she took the bronze at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid on the 4 × 5 km relay. She won the 20 km event at the Holmenkollen ski festival twice, in 1984 and 1985.
Pål Bjarne Tyldum is a retired cross-country skier from Norway. Specializing in the longer distances, he won a gold medal in the 50 km event at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. At the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, he won a gold medal in the 4 × 10 km relay. Additionally, he won three Olympic silver medals and seven national cross-country championships. His best result at the world championships was fourth place in the 30 km and 4 × 10 km relay in 1970.
Giorgio Di Centa is an Italian cross-country skier who won two gold medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics, including the individual 50 km freestyle race. He is the younger brother of Olympic gold medalist, cross-country skier Manuela Di Centa.
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.
Jan Ottosson is a former Swedish Cross-country skier. A national team skier, he also represented Åsarna IK during the 1980s and early 1990s. He won two gold medals in the 4 × 10 km relay at the Winter Olympics, providing some of the most iconic and impressive legs of Swedish Olympic history. Additionally, he finished sixth in the 50 km event at the 1988 Winter Olympics, sixth in the 15 km event at the 1991 Nordic skiing World Championships, won eight individual Swedish championships, and won ten Swedish championship gold medals in the relays. Ottosson in best known is for winning the Vasaloppet four times in. After his active career with the Åsarnas squad, Ottosson now works as an official on the Bergs ski center. Currently, Ottosson runs his own Vasaloppet training program, where the former champion helps others prepare for the race. Ottosson also owns a state-of-the-art ski grinding machine and a ski waxing business which the former champion uses to perfect patrons' skis for Vasaloppet race conditions.
Bernt Assar Rönnlund was a Swedish cross-country skier. Rönnlund's biggest success was at the 1962 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Zakopane where he won two gold medals and a silver (50 km). As a result, he earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal that year for his championship successes. Rönnlund was the anchorman of the Swedish 4 × 10 km relay team at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, bringing the team from fourth place to victory. Rönnlund also won the Vasaloppet in 1967 and the 50 km event at the Holmenkollen ski festival twice. For his cross-country skiing successes, Rönnlund was awarded the Holmenkollen Medal in 1968.
Sven "Uttern" Ludvig Utterström was a Swedish skier who competed in cross-country skiing.
Arto Tiainen was a Finnish cross-country skier. He was born in Sääminki.
Toini Gustafsson Rönnlund is a Swedish former cross-country skier. She competed in the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics and won four medals. Gustafsson also won the 10 km race at the Holmenkollen ski festival in each of 1960, 1967, and 1968. At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships she collected three medals with a silver in 1962 and two bronzes in 1966.
Juha Iisakki Mieto is a Finnish former cross-country skier, who was born in Kurikka. He competed in the 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics and won five medals, including a gold medal in the 4 × 10 km relay in 1976. He also placed fourth three times, losing the 15 km bronze medal in 1972 by 0.06 seconds. He finished second in this event in 1980 in the closest-ever margin of victory in Olympic cross-country skiing, 0.01 seconds, which led the International Ski Federation (FIS) to round all of their times to the nearest 1/10 second in future competitions. Mieto was selected as the Finnish flag bearer at the 1972 Winter Olympics.
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.
Silvio Fauner is an Italian former cross-country skier who competed from 1988 to 2006. His best known victory was part of the 4 × 10 km relay team that upset Norway at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. He also won four other medals at the Winter Olympics with silvers in the 4 × 10 km relay and bronzes in the 15 km (1994) and 30 km (1998).
Hans Anders Södergren is a Swedish cross-country skier who has competed since 1999. He earned a bronze medal in the 4 × 10 km relay at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and also finished 5th in the 15 km + 15 km double pursuit event at those same Olympics. In the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver he won a gold medal with the Swedish team in the 4 × 10 km relay.
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 1982 took place 19–28 February 1982 in Oslo, Norway at the Holmenkollen ski arena. This was Oslo's record-tying fourth time hosting the event after previously doing so in 1930, the 1952 Winter Olympics, and 1966. The Nordic combined 3 × 10 km team event and the ski jumping team large hill events were added to these championships. It was also the year in which cross country competitions had the freestyle technique debuted and that electronic timing returned to scoring the results in tenths of a second after Sweden's Thomas Wassberg edged out Finland's Juha Mieto by 0.01 seconds in the men's 15 km event at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The timing of the event in tenths of a second has continued as of 2011 in all Nordic skiing events.
Bernt Thomas Magnuson is a retired Swedish cross-country skier. He competed at the 1972 Winter Olympics in the 30 km and the 4 × 10 km relay and placed 28th and fourth, respectively. He won three medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, including golds in the 30 km (1974) and the 4 × 10 km relay (1978) and a bronze in the 50 km (1974). Magnusson also won the 50 km event at the 1977 Holmenkollen ski festival.
The men's 50 kilometre cross-country skiing competition at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, was held on Sunday 19 February at Veliko Polje, Igman. It was the last event of the men's cross-country skiing programme at these games and the fourteenth appearance of the 50 kilometre race as it had appeared in every Winter games. Thomas Wassberg of Sweden was the 1982 World champion and Nikolay Zimyatov of the Soviet Union was the defending champion from the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, United States.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Wassberg .|
| Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal |