Oslo 1952

Olympic Winter Games Oslo 1952

Oslo 1952The Torch


Route Design and Details

The flame was “symbolic” rather than “Olympic”, as it was not lit at Olympia. The route of the relay was designed to commemorate the origins of skiing.

It was at the house of Sondre Norheim, a Norwegian skiing legend of the 19th century, that Olav Bjaaland, one of the members of the 1911 South Pole expedition, kindled at Morgedal (county of Telemark) a “symbolic Nordic” flame. This was a way of recalling that torches had long been used in Norway to allow skiers to see their way in the dark.

In addition, the county of Telemark, and Morgedal in particular, were regarded as the cradle of slalom and ski jumping. Indeed, some of the great names in Norwegian skiing had come from there, like the Svalastoga and Hemmestveit brothers. The latter had created the world’s first ski school in Oslo. Modern competition skis are also based on the skis from Telemark.

On the same day, the torch was carried to the monument to Sondre Norheim in Morgedal. The next day, it was taken to the house of Birger Ruud, a famous Norwegian skier; and on the following day to the Huseby hill, a former competition venue west of Oslo.

At the Opening Ceremony, the last torchbearer, Eigil Nansen, carried the torch around the Bislett Stadium on skis before removing them and climbing the stairs to light the cauldron, where the flame would burn throughout the Games.

Map of the Route


Facts and Figures

Start date: 13 February 1952, Morgedal (Norway)

End date: 15 February 1952, Bislett Stadium, Oslo (Norway)

First torchbearer: A representative of the third generation of the well known Hemmestveit skiing family

Last torchbearers: Eigil Nansen, grandson of the famous Norwegian explorer, Fridtjof Nansen

Number of torchbearers: 94 skiers

Recruitment of torchbearers: -

Distance: ~225km

Countries visited: Norway

Torch Details

Description: The torch consisted of a cylindrical handle topped with a flat oval bowl engraved with the Olympic rings and the year 1952 as well as the words “Morgedal-Oslo” linked by an arrow.

Colour: Silver and gold

Length: 22cm (handle only)

Composition: Brass and steel alloy

Fuel: -

Designer / Manufacturer: Geir Grung / Adolf Thoresen


Did You Know?

This was the first torch relay in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. Symbolic fires were lit for the Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936 and St. Moritz in 1948. However, these fires were not brought by relay.


Discover the Games

The Brand

A visual identity is developed for each edition of the Olympic Games.



The Medals

Beginning as an olive wreath, medal designs have evolved over the years.



The Torch

An iconic part of any Olympic Games, each host offers their unique version.