The Winter Olympic Games of 1952 (officially the 5th Winter Olympic Games) were held in Oslo, Norway. Norwegian athletes were at the forefront of Winter Olympic competition since the very first games in 1924 and in 1952 they were finally able to perform in front of their home fans.
Time and Place: Oslo (Norway); 14 - 25 February 1952
Other candidates: Cortina d'Ampezzo (Italy) and Lake Placid (USA)
Participation: 30 countries, 694 athletes
Number of sports: 6 sports, 22 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 5
Fire lit by: Eigil Nansen (grandson of explorer Fridtjof Nansen)
Games opened by: Princess Ragnhild
Olympic oath: Torbjorn Falkanger (ski jumper)
Trivia from the Oslo 1952 Winter Olympic Games
Lake Placid and Cortina d'Ampezzo also placed their bids for the organization of the second post-war games, but the International Olympic Committee was determined to give the competition to the birthplace of modern skiing. The Games in the capital of Norway were special in many respects. An impressive number of participants, exceptional interest of the local winter sports fans, the return of the Germans and Japanese to the Olympic arena and the ceremonial lighting of the fire were the central themes of Oslo 1952. Norwegians followed the example of the Summer Games and included the carrying of the Olympic torch and lighting of the fire at the opening ceremony. The fire was lit in Telemark and carried to Oslo with the final bearer being Eigil Nansen.
The games proved a true spectacle for the Norwegian spectators who still fondly remember the many excellent achievements of their athletes. The ski jumping competition at Holmenkollen proved a true crowd magnet with 150,000 fans coming to the foot of the legendary facility to celebrate the double Norwegian victory. The Norwegians won 16 medals and achieved first place in the medals table, ahead of the USA, Finland, Germany and Austria. One of the major heroes of the Games was triple Olympic champion speed skater Hjamar Andersen.
The ski races were some of the most visited and talked about events at the Games. Along with the slalom and the downhill, competitors also raced in the giant slalom for the first time. The fastest among the women skiers was American Andrea L. Mead while the men's competition was decided between Austrian Othmar Schneider and Norwegian Stein Eriksen.