• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
  • Innsbruck, Austria, Jan 29-Feb 9,1964

    Niilo Itkonen
    Don McLeod
    Franz Portmann
    Eric Luoma

    Under Niilo Itkonen of Prince George, 1952 Canadian cross country champion turned coach, four men made up Canada’s cross country ski team for IXth Winter Games. Competing at the Seefeld site 32 kilometres outside of Innsbruck, Don McLeod of Ottawa managed 34th spot as top North American in the 15 km won by Finland’s Eero Mantyranta who also captured the 30 km crown. MacLeod was best there among Canadian skiers with his 38th finish while Mike Elliott of Durango, Colorado was the top American in 30th sport. Swiss-born Franz Portmann of Lake Louise and Eric Luoma of Calgary failed to complete the 50 km won by Sweden’s Sixten Jernberg of his 35th birthday.

    Jernberg led his squad to relay gold among 15 teams to become the all-time leading man in Olympic cross country medals with nine (4G, 3S, 2B). Canada with MacLeod, Luoma, Portmann and Mauttio Rauttio of Long Lac, Ontario, ran 15th. Siberian school teacher Claudia Boyarskih claimed 5 km, 10 km and relay gold for the Soviet Union. No North Americans competed among the women.