Rolf Falk-Larssen was one of the best Norwegian speed skaters in the early 1980s. After a promising start to the 1981 season, but broke his arm just before Christmas, but in 1982 had a great international début. He seemed to have the European title in his pocket with one lap to go. He was paired with his closest competitor, Tomas Gustafson of Sweden, and even though Falk-Larssen set a new Norwegian Record (14:30.34), Gustafson set a new World Record (14:23.59) and with an extraordinary finish defeated Falk-Larssen by a mere 0.021 points.
After another duel with Tomas Gustafson, Falk-Larssen became World Champion in 1983. He actually had more points than the second-ranked skater, but is the only skater in speed skating history to have won using the since abandoned rule that declared any skater to win three out of four distances to be the champion. But Falk-Larssen did not receive the cheering deserving of a World Champion. He didn't have the power to skate his 10,000 m at top speed, and the home crowd at Bislett expressed their disapproval by booing him. Falk-Larssen placed second in the 1984 European Championships, but had little success in the Olympics three weeks later. After this he never again mounted the podium in international championships. He again qualified for the Olympic Winter Games in 1988, again without any success. Rolf Falk-Larssen won a Norwegian title on eight occasions\: five times allround (1982-85, 1988), 1,000 m (1988) and 1,500 m (1988, 1993).
Two of Falk-Larssen’s daughters, Mia and June, have medalled at Norwegian figure skating championships, while his son Svein-Petter plays ice hockey at a national level. The family settled in Trondheim, where he worked as a sales manager for Storebrand, an insurance company.
Personal Bests\: 500 – 37.88 (1988); 1000 – 1:15.42 (1988); 1500 – 1:54.26 (1987); 5000 – 6:50.93 (1988); 10000 – 14:30.34 (1982).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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