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 64)
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]

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]

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. [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.

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]

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]

Cross-country skiing results

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

Olympic Games

 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 Championships

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

World Cup

Season standings

 Season  Age Overall
1982 25Silver medal icon.svg
1983 265
1984 27Silver medal icon.svg
1985 28Bronze medal icon.svg
1986 2915
1987 30Silver medal icon.svg
1988 3119

Individual podiums

  • 6 victories
  • 18 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

  • 7 victories
  • 10 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. "WASSBERG Thomas". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
Preceded by
Malmö FF
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
1980
Succeeded by
Annichen Kringstad