Martin Lundström was born as one of 15 children, and he and his two brothers had to work on the farm, thus developing strong arms and legs. As a 13-year-old, he began to work in the woods with his father, and he skiied to school, further strengthening his legs. In 1939 Lundström was stricken with tuberculosis and spent six months in a sanatorium, but he recovered and in 1941 won his first contest as a senior. Besides skiing, he was active in race-walking in the early 1940s and during the 1950s in orienteering as a summer sport. His breakthrough came in 1943 when he outclassed all opponents in the relay with the Västerbotten District’s team, including “Mora-Nisse” Nils Karlsson, running the last leg with the best split time.
In 1946, Lundström joined IFK Umeå, and was offered a job at the local sports shop, and was able to stop the hard work in the forest, allowing him to improve his training. In 1947 he won 12 of 19 starts. In St. Moritz he already won the 18 km run at the “rehearsal” for the Olympics in 1947. Nevertheless for the Olympic 18 km race he was given the first Swedish number, normally a disadvantage, and he ran quite angrily to win his first Olympic gold. In the relay, snow conditions became increasingly difficult. Lundström stopped on the anchor leg and re-waxed his ski, probably the only time this happened in an Olympic relay race. Nevertheless, Sweden’s winning margin was by far the greatest in the history of this event in Olympic history. Victory at Holmenkollen in 1948 over 18 km cemented his status as a ski king. At the 1952 Olympic Games in Oslo, he competed only in the relay, again running anchor, to secure the bronze medal. In his only three events at the Winter Olympics, Lundstrom earned two golds and one bronze medal. Between his two Olympics he was less successful at the 1950 World Championships in Rumford, Vermont, placing only eighth and ninth in the 18 km and 50 km, respectively.
After the "Golden Year" of 1948, his sensitive health almost stopped his career, but despite this, he managed to remain in the Swedish elite until 1957, then 39-years-old. He participated in the Swedish Championships from 1941-57, winning six titles, including three individual, and became Swedish Team Champion with his club IFK Umeå seven times. His best position in the Vasalöppet run was third in 1955. Of his 260 competitions in this period he won almost one third and made the top three in more than half of them. He continued to compete in the Veteran World Championships, winning another 27 gold medals, the last one in 1999 at the age of 80.
Lundström’s professional career continued in the forest, as he became a forest supervisor. Between 1962-83, he had his own company named "Martin’s Arms & Sport", also in Umeå, and also worked for a number of years as a sports coach and was chairman of IFK Umeå for 17 years. Lundström was also politically active as a member of the Umeå Municipal Council and a Council Member of Västerbotten province.
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