The center of the winter sports world in 1994 was Lillehammer, Norway. To enable masters ski jumpers to attend both the Olympic Games and the IMC in one trip, the International Ski Jumping Committee set the 1994 IMC for Hurdal NOR the week following the Olympics. Lillehammer is located at the northeast corner of Mjösa Lake, the village of Hurdal is at the southwest corner, about two hours away by car.
The nordic ski complex, located outside of the village, has five jumps from junior hills to a shiny new K-90 meter jump. A rope tow runs up a steep slope between the big hill and the 40 meter jump, and a cross country facility is located just below the outrun area.
The organizers of the Lillehammer games set a tone of traditional costume and use of natural materials, and Hurdal organizers followed the same spirit. Directly after each event, winners stood on a victory stand consisting of three chunks cut from a large tree trunk while medals were paraded out and presented by pink cheeked girls in traditional costumes of the region.
The schedule was simple, with the small hill event (K-40) on Thursday, the middle sized hill (K-63), always the biggest draw with well over 200 skiers, on Friday, and the big hill (K-90) on Saturday morning, followed by the cross country races on Saturday afternoon.
The cold weather which had blessed Lillehammer throughout the games continued for another five days. Finally, the pattern broke on Friday night and the 90 meter competitors had to deal with off and on wind, fog, snow, sleet and rain. A few years ago, this combination would have resulted in a difficult, slippery track but a mechanical tracksetting machine gave the jumpers a track as smooth and straight as a porcelain track (but without the noise). The cross country race was run in slow conditions on Saturday afternoon.
One celebrity of the competition was Ole Gunnar Fidjestol (right, with Earle Murphy) fresh from the Norwegian Ski Team and made famous by an unfortunate fall practicing for the Lillehammer opening ceremonies. Ole showed his continuing love for the sport by competing in two of the IMC events. To the credit of lesser known Masters jumpers, it is worth noting that on the 90 meter jump, he shaded IMC regular Ari Raitoharju by just one point.
By hand counting*, we found that approximately 200 competitors probably made well over 400 starts in four events. The home team dominated both the start lists and the medals podium, but Finland also did well with a much smaller team. And we are always pleased when every team take home some medals.
We did not go through a complete count of all three jumping events, taking account of skiers who participated on two or three hills. Rather, we counted the competitors in the most popular event, the 63 meter hill, and corrected only by adding 10 of the oldest Old Boys who skied the 32 but not the 64. And we had another complication -- we had no result sheets for Classes 1 & 2 on the K-63 so we counted the skiers in those two classes on both the 40 and the 90, assuming that no skier that young would jump the big hill and the also little hill. After all this adjustment, the Team sizes and total competitor count above are at best approximate but they give us a good idea of the sizes.
Here is a table of all the medalists at IMC 1994 in Hurdal NOR:
40 meter (K) 63 meter (K) 90 meter (K) Nordic Combined Cl. 9 1. Odd Aarnes NOR Olav Malin NOR 70-74 2. Bob Hein USA Bob Hein USA 3. Olav Malin NOR Cl. 8 1. Nils Eriksen NOR Nils Eriksen NOR Nils Eriksen NOR 65-69 2. Perloff Staveli NOR Martti Korhonen FIN Martti Korhonen FIN 3. Martti Korhonen FIN Ill. Muhortov RUS Cl. 7 1. John Eidem NOR John Eidem NOR Uno Kajak EST 60-64 2. Dale Severson USA 3. Uno Kajak EST Cl. 6 1. Aarne Kuisma FIN Aarne Kuisma FIN Willy Johansen NOR Aarne Lintulahti FIN 55-59 2. Ingvart Tornangen NOR Willy Johansen NOR Don West USA Willy Johansen NOR 3. Svein Glomsvoll NOR Martti Lamminpaa FIN Anatoli Tchistiakov RUS Cl. 5 1. Jorgen Brenden NOR Guttorm Bakke NOR Antti Kokkonen FIN Ake Saloniemi SWE 50-54 2. Svein Husby NOR Jorgen Brenden NOR Dave Engstrom USA Erkki Muhonen FIN 3. Ola Fiske NOR Antti Kokkonen FIN Harald Skalleberg NOR Pentti Karkko FIN Cl. 4 1. Kalevi Neuvonen FIN Jan Heiberg NOR Mathias Skaug NOR Helge Nordahl NOR 45-49 2. Tom Ricchio USA Pal Kalleberg NOR Jan Heiberg NOR Anat. Govoruhin RUS 3. Boris Shvetsov RUS Mathias Skaug NOR Pal Kalleberg NOR Valeri Tchuikin RUS Cl. 3 1. Pentti Rautiainen FIN Pentti Rautiainen FIN Ivar Nilsen NOR Arkadi Pavlov RUS 40-44 2. Arsi Sjogren FIN Ivar Nilsen NOR Juhani Huida FIN Jan Skevik NOR 3. Pekka Korhonen FIN Roy Strengelsrud NOR Roy Strengelsrud NOR Tom Ludvigsen NOR Cl. 2 1. Ari Joutjarvi FIN ? Ari Raitoharju FIN S. Tcherviakov RUS 35-39 2. Frank Nordby NOR results missing! Roger Ruud NOR T. Engebretsen NOR 3. Veijo Stranden FIN ? Tom Rauland NOR Pertti Tuhkanen FIN Cl. 1 1. Terje Kjelsrud NOR ? Ole Gnr Fidjestol NOR Ildar Garifullin RUS 30-34 2. Tomas Jernkrok SWE ? Frode Rogstad NOR Geir J. Alte NOR 3. Markku Jantunen FIN ? Tom E. Bjerkengen NOR Tom E. Bjerkengen NOR
That's all for IMC 1994, now on to Poland for IMC 1995, ...
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