Cross-country skiing at the 2006 Winter Olympics – Men's 50 kilometre freestyle

The Men's 50 kilometre freestyle cross-country skiing competition at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, was held on 26 February, at Pragelato. This was the final day of the Games, and the top three finishers were presented their medals as part of the Closing Ceremony.[1]

Men's 50 kilometre freestyle
at the XX Olympic Winter Games
DatesFebruary 26
Competitors82 from 32 nations
Winning time2:06:11.8
1st place, gold medalist(s) Giorgio Di Centa
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Yevgeny Dementyev
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Mikhail Botvinov
← 2002
2010 →

This is the first time in Olympic history that the 50 kilometre race is run as a mass start, where all skiers start at the same time, and the winner of the race is the first to cross the finish line. This is unlike the individual start, where skiers start one by one at 30-second intervals, and the winner is the skier whoever runs the distance the fastest.

The 50 kilometre had previously been skied only once as a mass start event at the World Championships, in 2005, with Frode Estil of Norway winning. However, that was in the classical style. The last 50 kilometre freestyle race at a World Championship was in 2003, and Martin Koukal of the Czech Republic won that event. Mikhail Ivanov of Russia was defending Olympic champion on 50 kilometre, but that event was held in classical technique with individual start. The last Olympic mass start race in 2002, won by Christian Hoffmann of Austria, was a shorter 30 kilometre event.

With a pack of 10–15 skiers coming together towards the finish, Giorgio Di Centa won Italy's second gold medal in cross-country skiing. This was the closest Olympic 50 km ever (0.8 seconds), eclipsing the 4.9 seconds that separated Thomas Wassberg from Gunde Svan (both from Sweden) at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

A photograph of Di Centa in action during this event would be used as the pictogram for the cross-country skiing events at the following Olympics.


The race was a 'mass start', with all 79 skiers starting at the same time. 13 skiers failed to finish the race, while 3 were originally entered, but did not start.[2]

Rank Name Country Time
  Giorgio Di Centa   Italy 2:06:11.8
  Yevgeny Dementyev   Russia 2:06:12.6
  Mikhail Botwinov   Austria 2:06:12.7
4 Emmanuel Jonnier   France 2:06:13.5
5 Pietro Piller Cottrer   Italy 2:06:14.0
6 Anders Södergren   Sweden 2:06:14.1
7 Martin Koukal   Czech Republic 2:06:14.9
8 Jiří Magál   Czech Republic 2:06:15.1
9 Vincent Vittoz   France 2:06:16.4
10 Mathias Fredriksson   Sweden 2:06:17.1
11 Jean-Marc Gaillard   France 2:06:19.9
12 Sergei Dolidovich   Belarus 2:06:22.4
13 Maxim Odnodvortsev   Kazakhstan 2:06:23.4
14 Martin Bajčičák   Slovakia 2:06:24.9
15 Tord Asle Gjerdalen   Norway 2:06:26.2
16 Lukáš Bauer   Czech Republic 2:06:29.0
17 Jens Filbrich   Germany 2:06:31.1
18 Nikolai Pankratov   Russia 2:06:33.9
19 Fabio Santus   Italy 2:06:38.2
20 Alexander Legkov   Russia 2:06:39.7
21 Remo Fischer   Switzerland 2:06:40.9
22 Juan Jesus Guiterrez   Spain 2:06:43.3
23 Diego Ruiz   Spain 2:06:51.6
24 Tobias Angerer   Germany 2:07:00.3
25 Johan Olsson   Sweden 2:07:00.9
26 Alexandre Rousselet   France 2:07:01.5
27 Milan Šperl   Czech Republic 2:07:01.9
28 Frode Estil   Norway 2:07:06.1
29 Andrey Golovko   Kazakhstan 2:07:19.6
30 Fulvio Valbusa   Italy 2:07:22.5
31 Nejc Brodar   Slovenia 2:07:24.5
32 Toni Livers   Switzerland 2:07:25.4
33 Tor Arne Hetland   Norway 2:07:36.2
34 Andrew Johnson   United States 2:07:56.3
35 Aivar Rehemaa   Estonia 2:08:00.8
36 René Sommerfeldt   Germany 2:08:03.0
37 Denis Krivushkin   Kazakhstan 2:08:05.3
38 Ivan Babikov   Russia 2:08:07.9
39 Markus Hasler   Liechtenstein 2:08:29.0
40 Alexander Lasutkin   Belarus 2:08:40.4
41 Jan Egil Andresen   Norway 2:08:43.7
42 Vicente Vilarrubla   Spain 2:09:03.1
43 Teemu Kattilakoski   Finland 2:09:26.2
44 George Grey   Canada 2:09:38.4
45 Michal Malak   Slovakia 2:09:38.7
46 Zsolt Antal   Romania 2:10:06.7
47 Ivan Bátory   Slovakia 2:10:32.2
48 Li Geilang   China 2:10:36.9
49 Katsuhito Ebisawa   Japan 2:10:39.6
50 Christian Stebler   Switzerland 2:11:13.0
51 Jörgen Brink   Sweden 2:11:19.2
52 Olli Ohtonen   Finland 2:11:54.7
53 Qiung Zhang   China 2:12:13.0
54 Andrey Kondroschev   Kazakhstan 2:13:24.2
55 Joze Mehle   Slovenia 2:13:37.1
56 Mikhail Gumenyak   Ukraine 2:13:44.6
57 Dan Roycroft   Canada 2:13:47.5
58 Chris Jeffries   Canada 2:13:49.5
59 Shunsuke Komamura   Japan 2:14:08.8
60 Oļegs Maļuhins   Latvia 2:15:10.6
61 Kris Freeman   United States 2:15:32.6
62 Vladimir Olschanski   Ukraine 2:16:14.7
63 Ren Long   China 2:16:15.0
Carl Swenson   United States DNF
Ville Nousiainen   Finland DNF
Nobu Naruse   Japan DNF
James Southam   United States DNF
Olexandr Putsko   Ukraine DNF
Xia Wan   China DNF
Aleksej Novoselkij   Lithuania DNF
Jung Eui Myung   South Korea DNF
Sabahattin Oglago   Turkey DNF
Francesc Soulie   Andorra DNF
Valts Eiduks   Latvia DNF
Intars Spalvins   Latvia DNF
Aleksandar Milenkovic   Serbia and Montenegro DNF
Olegs Andrejevs   Latvia DNF
Oliver Kraas   South Africa DNF
Noureddine Bentoumi   Algeria DNF
Mihai Galiceanu   Romania DNS
Edmond Khachatryan   Armenia DNS
Hovhannes Sargsyan   Armenia DNS


  1. ^ "Cross Country Skiing at the 2006 Torino Winter Games: Men's 50 kilometres". Sports Reference. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Torino 2006 Official Report - Cross Country Skiing" (PDF). Torino Organizing Committee. LA84 Foundation. March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-12. Retrieved Jun 8, 2009.