Martin Jære was born on a modest mountain farm in the Storlidalen Valley, 7 kilometers from the village of Lønset in the Oppdal community. In winter he had to ski to and from school, which developed his skiing ability. He won his first local cross-country competition at age 20 in 1940, but joined the sports boycott during the German occupation during World War II. At the 1946 Holmenkollen, Jære finished 10th in the 50 km on borrowed skies.
After placing an impressive third over 50 km at the 1947 Holmenkollen, finishing as the best Norwegian behind the Swedes Nils Karlsson and Arthur Herrdin, “The Bear from Trollheimen” was selected for the 1948 Games for his preferred event, the demanding 50 km race. The Olympic 50 km in St. Moritz was a difficult race for Jære, who had to re-wax his skies three times and ended in a distant 10th, almost half-an-hour behind the Olympic Champion “Mora-Nisse” Karlsson.
Martin Jære ended his career after the 1949 season, and used his strength on his mountain farm to make a living for his family. At age 93, he moved to a nursing home in the Oppdal municipality center, where he died two years later, almost 96 years of age.
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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