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Oddvar Brå (born 16 March 1951) is a Norwegian former cross-country skier. He was among the best skiers in Norway, the three-times winner of the World Cup (1972-73, then named "World ranking", 1974–75 and 1978–79) and the winner of 16 national championships. His success in the major international championships was more modest.

Oddvar Brå
Born (1951-03-16) March 16, 1951 (age 67)
Hølonda, Norway
Ski clubIL Leik
World Cup career
Individual wins2
Indiv. podiums4



Brå participated in the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 1991 Holmenkollen ski festival, but his first individual major international win was at the 1982 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, where he won the 15 km event.[citation needed] In this championship, he also tied for the gold medal with Alexander Zavyalov of the Soviet Union in the relay after a dramatic finish in which his ski pole broke. This event remained in the memory of most Norwegians, leading to the popular all-Norwegian expression "Hvor var du da Brå brakk staven?" ("Where were you when Brå broke his pole?").[1]

Brå also won three relay medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with a gold in 1982 and bronzes in 1974 and 1978. Brå additionally won two silver medals in the 4 x 10 km at the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 1980 Winter Olympics, the 15 km at the Holmenkollen ski festival in 1980 and 1982, and the 50 km in 1975, 1979, and 1981. In 1975, Brå was awarded the Holmenkollen medal (shared with Gerhard Grimmer and Ivar Formo).

Brå's best individual achievement in the Olympics was a 4th position in the 15 km event in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. He received the Egebergs Ærespris in 1987 for his accomplishments in cross-country skiing and athletics (track and field).

World Cup resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[2]

Individual podiumsEdit

  • 2 victories
  • 4 podiums
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1 1981–82 23 February 1982   Oslo, Norway 15 km Individual World Championships[1] 1st
2 7 March 1982   Lahti, Finland 50 km Individual World Cup 1st
3  1983–84  17 March 1984   Fairbanks, United States 15 km Individual World Cup 3rd
4  1987–88  27 March 1988   Rovaniemi, Finland 50 km Individual C World Cup 2nd

Team podiumsEdit

  • 1 victory
  • 1 podium
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place Teammate(s)
1 1981–82 25 February 1982   Oslo, Norway 4 x 10 km Relay World Championships[1] 1st Eriksen / Aunli / Mikkelsplass

Note: 1 Until the 1999 World Championships, World Championship races were included in the World Cup scoring system.


  1. ^ Segal, David (12 February 2018). "Where Were You When Oddvar Bra Broke His Pole?". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Athlete : BRAA Oddvar". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
Preceded by
Cato Zahl Pedersen
Egebergs Ærespris
Succeeded by
Ragnhild Bratberg