You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Johnny Werket

Johnny Werket

Full name: John Roland "Johnny" Werket
Gender: Male
Weight: 128 lbs (58 kg)
Born: October 8, 1924 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: June 4, 2010 in Sun City West, Arizona, United States
Affiliations: Lawrence Wennell Powderhorn Skating Club
Country: USA United States
Sport: Speed Skating

Biography

Johnny Werket was, until Eric Heiden, the American man who had won the most medals in speed skating at the World Championships. In 1948 he won the distance gold in the 1,500 m, a silver in the 500, and placed second overall, the highest US all-around placing until Heiden. He repeated his distance medals at the 1949 World Championships. In 1950, he won gold in both the 500 and 1,500, placing third in all-around. In 1952, his final Worlds, he won silver medals in both the 500 and 1,500, giving him 10 World Championship medals in all. Werket was of Norwegian descent, and after the 1948 Worlds, the US team competed in Hamar, Norway. There, Werket met a 16-year-old Norwegian girl, Vesla Bekkevoll. They became pen pals, and it later developed into a romance, as they married in 1951 in Minneapolis. Werket attended Augsburg College, graduating in 1949, and skated for the Powderhorn Skating Club. Werket later became a speed skating coach, first with the Richfield Skating Club, and then with US National Teams, including the 1972 Olympic team, and coaching Heiden briefly in 1975. He worked for 31 years with Northern States Power, eventually moving up to an executive position, before retiring in 1983. He and his wife retired to Sun City, Arizona where they both play tennis, Vesla Werket at a high-level in age-group competition.

Personal Bests: 500 – 42.0 (1956); 1500 – 2:16.1 (1956); 5000 – 8:44.6 (1950); 10000 – 18:10.2 (1950).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Winter 23 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 6
1948 Winter 23 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 10,000 metres United States USA 11
1952 Winter 27 Oslo Speed Skating Men's 500 metres United States USA 11
1952 Winter 27 Oslo Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 12T
1952 Winter 27 Oslo Speed Skating Men's 10,000 metres United States USA AC DNF/fall
1956 Winter 31 Cortina d'Ampezzo Speed Skating Men's 500 metres United States USA 11T
1956 Winter 31 Cortina d'Ampezzo Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 25

Men's 500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1952 Winter 27 Oslo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 11 44.5
1956 Winter 31 Cortina d'Ampezzo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 11T 42.4

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 3c 7c 1.1k
1948 Winter 23 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating United States Final Standings 6 2:20.2 29 1:04 1:40
1952 Winter 27 Oslo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 12T 2:24.3 29 1:05 1:43
1956 Winter 31 Cortina d'Ampezzo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 25 2:16.1 28.6 1:03.4 1:38.9

Men's 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 4c 8c 1.2k 1.6k 2k 2.4k 2.8k 3.2k 3.6k 4k 4.4k 4.8k 5.2k 5.6k 6k 6.4k 6.8k 7.2k 7.6k 8k 8.4k 8.8k 9.2k 9.6k
1948 Winter 23 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating United States Final Standings 11 19:44.0 47 1:31 2:17 3:02 3:46 4:31 5:17 6:04 6:50 7:38 8:26 9:14 10:02 10:50 11:38 12:25 13:13 14:03 14:52 15:42 16:32 17:22 18:13 19:02
1952 Winter 27 Oslo Speed Skating United States Final Standings AC DNF/fall 43 1:26 2:08 2:51 3:34 4:17 5:01 5:46 6:30 7:15 8:00 8:55