Cross country running at the Olympics

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Cross country running
at the Olympic Games
1912 Athletics men's cross country2.JPG
The start of the first ever Olympic cross country race in 1912
Overview
Sport Athletics
Gender Men
Years held Men: 19121924

Cross country running at the Summer Olympics was held at the multi-sport event for men only from 1912 to 1924. During its brief tenure as an Olympic event, it featured on the Olympic athletics programme. Medals were awarded on an individual race basis as well as a national team points basis.

Traditionally a winter sport, the scheduling of cross country within a summer event caused organisational issues. The sport was dropped after 1924 Olympics, when most of the runners dropped out due to extreme heat and pollution from a nearby power station.[1]

Over its three appearances at the Olympics, Finnish runners dominated the event. Tying in with the emergence of the Flying Finns, Hannes Kolehmainen won the inaugural event then Paavo Nurmi won the following two editions, winning gold medals both individually and in the team race.

Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and Paul Tergat, all highly successful African long-distance runners, jointly issued an open letter in 2008 to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, urging him to consider the re-instatement of cross country as an Olympic sport.[2] The International Association of Athletics Federations and athletics media have supported the idea of including the sport at the Winter Olympic Games. The IOC defines winter sports as those requiring snow or ice, presenting a possible block on its inclusion. Although the sport does not require such conditions, major cross country events have been held on snow on numerous occasions.[3][4][5]

Medal summary[edit]

Individual[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1912 Stockholm
details
 Hannes Kolehmainen (FIN)  Hjalmar Andersson (SWE)  John Eke (SWE)
1920 Antwerp
details
 Paavo Nurmi (FIN)  Eric Backman (SWE)  Heikki Liimatainen (FIN)
1924 Paris
details
 Paavo Nurmi (FIN)  Ville Ritola (FIN)  Earl Johnson (USA)

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Paavo Nurmi  Finland (FIN) 1920–1924 2 0 0 2

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Finland (FIN) 3 1 1 5
2  Sweden (SWE) 0 2 1 3
3  United States (USA) 0 0 1 1

Team[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1912 Stockholm
details
 Sweden (SWE)
Hjalmar Andersson
John Eke
Josef Ternström
 Finland (FIN)
Hannes Kolehmainen
Jalmari Eskola
Albin Stenroos
 Great Britain (GBR)
Frederick Hibbins
Ernest Glover
Thomas Humphreys
1920 Antwerp
details
 Finland (FIN)
Paavo Nurmi
Heikki Liimatainen
Teodor Koskenniemi
 Great Britain (GBR)
James Wilson
Anton Hegarty
Alfred Nichols
 Sweden (SWE)
Eric Backman
Gustaf Mattsson
Hilding Ekman
1924 Paris
details
 Finland (FIN)
Paavo Nurmi
Ville Ritola
Heikki Liimatainen
 United States (USA)
Earl Johnson
Arthur Studenroth
August Fager
 France (FRA)
Henri Lauvaux
Gaston Heuet
Maurice Norland

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1= Paavo Nurmi  Finland (FIN) 1920–1924 2 0 0 2
1= Heikki Liimatainen  Finland (FIN) 1920–1924 2 0 0 2

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Finland (FIN) 2 1 0 3
2  Sweden (SWE) 1 0 1 2
3  Great Britain (GBR) 0 1 1 2
4  United States (USA) 0 1 0 1
5  France (FRA) 0 0 1 1

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Participation and athlete data
Specific
  1. ^ Mackay, Duncan (2013-12-09). Olympic target for cross country still the aim say IAAF after top-level summit led by Coe. Inside the Games. Retrieved on 2014-03-15.
  2. ^ Moore, Blaine (2008-09-28). Will cross country racing return to the Olympics?. RunToWin. Retrieved on 2014-03-15.
  3. ^ Cross country for the Winter Olympics. Athletics Weekly (2014-02-20). Retrieved on 2014-03-15.
  4. ^ Jhung, Lisa (2014-02-10). Trail Running in the Winter Olympics. Runner's World. Retrieved on 2014-03-15.
  5. ^ Mackay, Duncan (2013-12-09). Olympic target for cross country still the aim say IAAF after top-level summit led by Coe . Inside the Games. Retrieved on 2014-03-15.

External links[edit]