Hans Engnestangen was a short distance specialist, and his famous world records for 500 metres (41.8 in 1938) and 1,500 metres (2:13.8 in 1939) remained unbeaten for 14 and 12 years. In the years 1928-1930 he belonged to the Workerâs Sport Association, and was Norwegian Worker's champion those three seasons. Aged 19, he won both the 500 and 1,500 distances at the international Winter Spartakiad in Oslo, Norway. In 1931 he changed associations, and was World All-Round Champion in 1933. In 1935 Engnestangen won the silver medal at the European Championships, and in 1935 was third at the World Championships. He won the 500 metre race six times in international championships, but had less success at the Winter Olympics. In 1932 he was fourth at the 500 metres in the Lake Placid packstyle speed skating, and four years later, as one of the favorites, fell during his 500. Engnestangen was Norwegian champion in 1937 and 1938. During World War II he chose to participate in events controlled by the German occupants. In 1942 he was a member of the Norwegian team who skated a country match against Nazi Germany in Klagenfurt, Austria. He also served as a mayor of his local municipality during the war, and when the war was over he was sentenced to two years of imprisonment for collaborating with the Nazis. Engnestangen died in 2003, aged 95.
Personal Bests: 500 â 41.8 (1938); 1500 â 2:13.8 (1939); 5000 â 8:31.3 (1934); 10000 â 18:06.9 (1933).