In 1952, the Games finally came to Norway, the birthplace of modern skiing. A flame was lit in the hearth of the home of Sondre Nordheim, who had done much to popularise the sport, and relayed by 94 skiers to Oslo.
Speed skater Hjalmar Andersen won three gold medals. His winning margins in the 5,000m and the 10,000m were the largest in Olympic history. In front of over 115,000 spectators, Arnfinn Bergmann won the ski jump competition on the mythical Holmenkollen hill. His compatriot Torbjorn Falkanger claimed silver.
Computers were used for the first time in figure skating, to calculate the scores awarded by the different judges for the compulsory and free programmes. This enabled an athlete’s score to be given immediately.
American figure skater Richard “Dick” Button only needed to perform a safe programme to retain his Olympic title. Instead, he chose to attempt a triple loop, even though no skater had ever performed it in competition. He landed his innovative jump perfectly, the nine judges awarded him top marks, and he claimed his second gold medal.
Athletes 694 (109 women, 585 men)