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Tormod KNUTSEN

Norway
TeamNorway
Nordic CombinedNordic Combined
Olympic Medals
1G
1S
Games Participations3
First Olympic GamesCortina d'Ampezzo 1956
Year of Birth1932

Biography

Tormod Knutsen was a promising ski jumper as a teenager, winning the 1949 Norwegian Youth Championships and the 1951 Junior Championship. In 1954 he switched his concentration to Nordic combined, and won the bronze medal in his first national championships in the event, in 1955. He went to the 1956 Winter Olympics as a substitute, but Gunder Gundersen injured his arm two days before the competition and Knutsen was placed on the team, and he finished sixth, only 2.6 points out of silver. In 1958 Knutsen won at Holmenkollen, and after winning national championship gold medals in both 1959 and 1960, he was highly favored for the Olympic gold at Squaw Valley. Before leaving for Squaw Valley, Knutsen surprised everybody by winning a silver medal at the Norwegian Championships in ski jumping. In Squaw Valley, a newcomer from West Germany, Georg Thoma, led the jumping, but the Norwegians considered him a weak cross-country skier and reckoned Knutsen for a gold medal. However, Thoma surprised everybody in the cross-country, skiing 7.2 seconds faster than Knutsen and was a clear winner, with the Norwegian taking silver. Thoma dominated the international scene in Nordic combined in the following years, but Knutsen continued to compete, placing fourth at the 1962 World Championships. After winning two more national championships (1963 and 1964), he felt well prepared for the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics. He placed second in the jumping section, only 2.2 points behind Thoma, but Knutsen was over 1½ minutes better than Thoma in cross-country and won the gold medal comfortably. Thoma got revenge over Knutsen by winning at Holmenkollen later in the season, where Knutsen was a distant sixth, after which the 32-year-old Norwegian ended his career, with his old dream of an Olympic gold medal having come true.

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

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