• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
  • Oslo, Norway, Feb 14-25, 1952

    Claude Richer
    Jacques Carbonneau

    The Winter Games finally headed to Norway, considered the traditional home of skiing, as capital city Oslo and its environs hosted the VIth Olympics. With up to seven skiers per nordic event per country, the fields proved highly competitive and presented major obstacles for North American hopes of improved placings. 1951 Canadian cross country champion Claude Richer of Ottawa and 1951 Quebec relay champ Jacques Carbonneau of Quebec City were the lone ‘langlaufers’ to represent Canada.

    In the 80 man field 18 km won by Hallgeir Brenden of host Norway, Richer, who with Carbonneau spent almost two months training in Scandinavia, ran second best North American in 52nd spot. USA’s Ted Farwell was tops in 43rd. Carbonneau posted 70th. Finland won the relay and followed with the 50 km gold by legendary Veikko Hakulinen, thus ending the Swedish four time Olympic reign in the event.

    Lydia Wideman led a top three sweep by Finland in the debut of women’s Olympic cross country racing as she captured the 10 km individual gold. No Canadians or Americans were entered in the small field of 20 skiers from eight nations.