Thomas Wassberg

Thomas Wassberg bigraphy, stories - Cross-country skier

Thomas Wassberg : biography

27 March 1956 –

Thomas Wassberg (born 27 March 1956 in Lennartsfors, Värmland) is a Swedish former cross-country skier. A fast skating style – push for every leg – is still called "Wassberg" after him in several countries.

He won the World Cup in 1977. In 1980 he received Bragdmedaljen, an award given to the best Swedish sportsman/sportswoman each year. He did however refuse to accept the award in protest to an earlier decision by the award committee.

Wassberg won four gold Medals at the Winter Olympics: in 15 km (1980), 50 km (1984), and the 4 x 10 km relay (1984, 1988). At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, he earned three golds (50 km: 1982, 30 km: 1987, and 4 x 10 km: 1987), three silvers (15 km: 1985, 1987; 50 km (1987), and one bronze (4 x 10 km: 1985). Additionally, Wassberg won the 50 km at the Holmenkollen ski festival three times (1980, 1982 and 1987) and the 15 km twice (1979, 1985).

At the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Wassberg edged out Finland’s Juha Mieto by 0.01 seconds in the 15 km, the closest cross-country skiing race in Olympic history. This incident led the FIS to change their timing to the nearest one-tenth of a second. At the 1984 Winter Olympics, Wassberg beat out fellow Swede Gunde Svan by 4.9 seconds in the 50 km, the closest margin of victory ever in that event until Giorgio Di Centa (Italy) edged out Yevgeny Dementyev (Russia) by 0.8 seconds at the 2006 Winter Olympics though the 2006 event was a mass start event while the 1984 event was an interval start event.

Wassberg was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1980.