Host City: Squaw Valley, United States
Venue(s): Speed Skating Oval, Squaw Valley, California
Date Started: February 26, 1960
Date Finished: February 26, 1960
|Gold:|| Yevgeny Grishin
Several skaters were highly considered in this event, although there was no clear favorite. The co-defending champion, Yevgeny Grishin, was back and was a top sprinter. The other 1956 champion, Yury Mikhaylov, did not compete in Squaw Valley. The world record holder with 2:06.2 was Finnish skater [Juhani Järvinen], who had set the record in March 1959 in a pre-Olympic meet in Squaw Valley. He had won the distance at the 1959 European Championships, and was second at the 1959 World Championships. At the recent 1960 World and European Championships, the distance had been won by Boris Stenin and Knut Johannesen, respectively, although Johannesen was normally considered better at the longer distances.
The day of the race was clear but with very high winds, as in the 5,000 the day before, which hampered the skaters and slowed down the times a bit. A large field of 48 skaters answered the gun. Among the favorites, Stenin was off first, in the sixth pair. He started well and was the first skater to pass 700 metres in under a minute, and finished in 2:11.5 to take the lead. The time held up until the ninth pair when Norway’s Roald Aas finished in 2:10.4. Aas was well off Stenin’s pace even thru 1,100 metres, but finished very strongly. Aas skated alongside Järvinen, who was behind Aas throughout and could not match his final lap, finishing in 2:13.1, which would place him tied for fifth. Grishin started in the 13th pair, and set the fastest pace. His splits were 26 seconds, 58 seconds, and 1:32, all the fastest of the event, but he could not match Aas’s finish, and he crossed the line in 2:10.4. The times would hold up with Grishin and Aas tieing for first, with Stenin third. Amazingly, the event had co-champions as it had in 1956.
Aas was not new to the podium at the Olympics as he had been the bronze medalist in this event in 1952 at Oslo. He had had a solid international career since 1951, finishing third in all-around at the 1957 and 1960 European Championships and the 1958 World Championships. He retired after this, his greatest triumph. Grishin had been competing internationally since 1954. Among the greatest sprinters ever, he was almost never beaten at 500 metres, and in the 1,500, had won the distance at the 1955 and 1957 Europeans, in addition to his two Olympic golds. He continued to race after Squaw Valley, though less frequently after 1963, but would appear at the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics, winning a silver in the 500 in 1964.
|1T||Yevgeny Grishin||28||Soviet Union||URS||Gold||2:10.4||26||58||1:32|
|3||Boris Stenin||25||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze||2:11.5||27||59||1:33|
|12||Gennady Voronin||25||Soviet Union||URS||2:14.7||27||59||1:34|
|15T||Wim de Graaff||28||Netherlands||NED||2:16.5||28||1:02||1:38|
|17||Dick Hunt||24||United States||USA||2:17.7||29||1:04||1:40|
|22||Floyd Bedbury||22||United States||USA||2:18.9||29||1:04||1:40|
|26||Terry Monaghan||26||Great Britain||GBR||2:19.9||30||1:05||1:42|
|27||Renato De Riva||22||Italy||ITA||2:20.6||29||1:04||1:42|
|29T||Keith Meyer||21||United States||USA||2:21.7||28||1:02||1:39|
|31T||Lev Zaytsev||22||Soviet Union||URS||2:22.1||28||1:02||1:39|
|35||Eddie Rudolph, Jr.||18||United States||USA||2:23.1||27||1:01||1:40|
|40||Terry Malkin||24||Great Britain||GBR||2:25.0||31||1:08||1:46|
|41||Jang Yeong||26||South Korea||KOR||2:25.3||29||1:04||1:44|
|42||Choi Yeong-Bae||21||South Korea||KOR||2:26.7||29||1:06||1:45|
|44||Jang In-Won||South Korea||KOR||2:30.7||31||1:09||1:48|
|AC||Henk van der Grift||24||Netherlands||NED||29||1:04||1:38.5||DNF|