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Speed Skating at the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games:

Men's 5,000 metres

Speed Skating at the 1924 Winter Games: Next Winter Games

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Host City: Chamonix, France
Venue(s): Ice Stadium, Chamonix
Date Started: January 26, 1924
Date Finished: January 26, 1924

Gold: FIN Clas Thunberg
Silver: FIN Julius Skutnabb
Bronze: NOR Roald Larsen

Summary

Only a few 5000 m performances under 9 minutes had been posted prior to the Games. At their Davos training races, Julius Skutnabb (8:50.4) and Clas Thunberg (8:51.9) had recorded the fastest times of the season. Three of the four Norwegians in competition also had sub-9 minute performances listed, all skated at a Frogner meet shortly before the Olympics, World Record holder Harald Strøm being the fastest with 8:52.3.

The second competition of the day got underway with the first two pairs being rescheduled due to non-starters. Charlie Gorman and Léon Quaglia were the first to hit the ice. Quaglia had won the French Championships at the same rink two weeks earlier, and he improved on his performance in the 5000 m by more than 15 seconds: 9.08.6. The first to go under 9 minutes was Frithjof Paulsen of Norway, followed by his compatriot Harald Strøm who listed 8:54.6. Strøm's time was good, considering that he had caught the flu on the previous day. As the Norwegian flag bearer, he had been out in the rain for hours wearing nothing but his race outfit.

The strongest North American distance skater, Val Bialas was coupled with Julius Skutnabb, and delivered an interesting fight, won by the 34-year-old Finn who also improved the season's best time to 8:48.4. His teammate Thunberg did not have such a strong competitor in his race, but that did not stop him from outclassing the rest of the field with 8:39.0. The two remaining Norwegians, Larsen and Sigurd Moen, both delivered fine performances, but were also unable to approach the leading Finnish duo.

Thunberg was one of the dominant speed skaters of the era. He only started skating at age 20, but managed to win 5 World Championships and 4 European titles. One of his nicknames was "The Nurmi of the ice", which he considered somewhat insulting, as he thought Paavo Nurmi might as well be called the "Thunberg of the track".

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal T 2c 6c 1k 1.4k 1.8k 2.2k 2.6k 3k 3.4k 3.8k 4.2k 4.6k
1 Clas Thunberg 30 Finland FIN Gold 8:39.0 22 1:03 1:43 2:25 3:06 3:48 4:29 5:10 5:52 6:33 7:15 7:56 OR
2 Julius Skutnabb 34 Finland FIN Silver 8:48.4 25 1:08 1:49 2:29 3:11 3:53 4:34 5:15 5:57 6:39 7:22 8:04 OR
3 Roald Larsen 26 Norway NOR Bronze 8:50.2
4 Sigurd Moen 26 Norway NOR 8:51.0
5 Harald Strøm 26 Norway NOR 8:54.6 23 1:03 1:43 2:24 3:06 3:47 4:30 5:14 5:59 6:42 7:25 8:10 OR
6 Valentine Bialas 21 United States USA 8:55.0
7 Frithjof Paulsen 28 Norway NOR 8:59.0 24 1:04 1:45 2:26 3:08 3:50 4:34 5:17 6:02 6:46 7:30 8:14 OR
8 Richard Donovan 22 United States USA 9:05.6
9 Léon Quaglia 28 France FRA 9:08.6 23 1:03 1:46 2:28 3:11 3:55 4:39 5:25 6:10 6:54 7:38 8:23 OR
10 Asser Wallenius 21 Finland FIN 9:12.8
11 Alberts Rumba 31 Latvia LAT 9:14.4
12 Eric Blomgren 30 Sweden SWE 9:14.6
13 Charley Jewtraw 23 United States USA 9:27.0
14 Bill Steinmetz 24 United States USA 9:35.0
15 Axel Blomqvist 29 Sweden SWE 9:48.8
16 Leon Jucewicz 21 Poland POL 10:05.6
17 Gaston Van Hazebroeck Belgium BEL 10:13.8
18 André Gegout 19 France FRA 10:15.2
19 Georges de Wilde 23 France FRA 10:39.8
20 Albert Tebbit 52 Great Britain GBR 11:01.0
21 Marcel Moens 31 Belgium BEL 11:30.4
AC Charlie Gorman 26 Canada CAN