Host City: Chamonix, France
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Chamonix
Date Started: January 26, 1924
Date Finished: January 26, 1924
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).
|6||Valentine Bialas||21||United States||USA||8:55.0|
|8||Richard Donovan||22||United States||USA||9:05.6|
|13||Charley Jewtraw||23||United States||USA||9:27.0|
|14||Bill Steinmetz||24||United States||USA||9:35.0|
|17||Gaston Van Hazebroeck||Belgium||BEL||10:13.8|
|19||Georges de Wilde||23||France||FRA||10:39.8|
|20||Albert Tebbit||52||Great Britain||GBR||11:01.0|