Knut Johannesen
Updated: 2007-07-27 08:45



Knut Johannesen
Squaw Valley, February 1960, VIII Olympic Winter Games. Men's speed skating 10,000m event: eventual winner, Knut JOHANNESEN of Norway in action. Credit: IOC Olympic Museum Collections/RÜBELT

Born: 6 November 1933

Birthplace: Not available

Nationality: Norway

Sport: Skating


Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956

Squaw Valley 1960

Innsbruck 1964


Olympic medals:

Gold: 2

Silver: 2

Bronze: 1

Other results:

World Championships

Gold: 2 (57, 64)

Silver: 1 (63)

Smashing the 16-Minute Barrier

Long distance skater Knut Johannesen first competed in the Olympics in 1956, finishing eighth in the 5,000m race and earning a silver medal in the 10,000m. In the latter race, his time was only one second slower than the winner, Sigvard Ericsson.

Four years later, at the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, Johannesen gained another silver medal, this time in the 5,000m. Then, in the 10,000m, he broke the pre-Olympic world record by a stunning 46 seconds and became the first person to break the 16-minute barrier. In 1964, Johannesen took another shot at Olympic gold. Fellow Norwegian Per Ivar Moe recorded an excellent time of 7:38.6 for 5,000m.

More than an hour later, Johannesen took to the ice. He fell three seconds behind Moe's pace, but gradually closed the gap. When he crossed the finish line, the scoreboard clock read "7:38.7." However, the clock was wrong. Johannesen's official time, 7:38.4, earned him another gold medal. He added a fifth and final medal - bronze -in the 10,000m.

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