Clas Thunberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clas Thunberg
Clas Thunberg Chamonix 1924.gif
Clas Thunberg in 1924
Personal information
Born (1893-04-05)5 April 1893
Helsinki, Finland
Died 28 April 1973(1973-04-28) (aged 80)
Helsinki, Finland
Height 167 cm
Weight 67 kg
Sport
Country Finland
Sport Speed skating

Arnold Clas Robert Thunberg (5 April 1893 – 28 April 1973) was a Finnish speed skater who won five Olympic gold medals – three at the inaugural Winter Olympics held in Chamonix in 1924 (along with a silver and a bronze medal) and two at the 1928 Winter Olympics held in St. Moritz. He was the most successful athlete at both of these Winter Olympics, sharing the honour for 1928 Winter Olympics with Johan Grøttumsbraaten of Norway. No other athlete ever won such a high fraction of all Olympic events at a single Games. He was born and died in Helsinki.[1]

Short biography[edit]

Thunberg began with speed skating rather late, at the age of 18, having led a somewhat rowdy life as a compulsive smoker and drinker before he concentrated fully on his sport. However, from the age of 28 – when he turned up at his first European Allround Championships – and for the following ten years, he was by far the most-winning skater.

Thunberg's greatest strengths were the shortest distances, the 500 through 5000 metres. He never won an international 10000 metre event, although he did win a silver medal on the 10000 metres at the 1924 Winter Olympics – beaten by three seconds by compatriot Julius Skutnabb. Thunberg won three gold medals at the 1924 Olympics – the allround event, the 1500 metres and the 5000 metres. He remains the only person to have won an Olympic gold medal in allround speed skating, as despite the status of allround as the premier skating event, at least up until the 1990s, the event was abolished in the Olympics from 1928 onwards.

Thunberg won five World Allround Championships titles from 1923 to 1931, and also four European Allround Championships titles. He also took two more gold medals at the 1928 Winter Olympics, to end with five, and these two medals made him the oldest Olympic Speed Skating Champion, at the age of 34. However, despite his amazing run, he was occasionally vulnerable on the long distances. If his 500 and 1,500 metre events did not go exactly according to plan, then he could be beaten – as shown in the 1927 season when the 22-year-old Bernt Evensen pipped him to both the World and European title. Evensen, however, could never string together the long run of victories that Thunberg ended up with.

Despite his amazing career record, Thunberg never reached the top of Adelskalender – a statistical invention which ranks skaters according to their personal bests and then converts them into allround performances, using a table. Oscar Mathisen's personal bests on the three longest distances were simply too good for Thunberg to match. However, Mathisen – who was born five years before Thunberg – turned professional during World War I, meaning that the two never met in an ISU-sanctioned event.

Record[edit]

World records[edit]

Over the course of his career, Thunberg skated four world records:

Distance Time Date Location
500 m 42.8 19 January 1929 Eisstadion Davos, Davos
1000 m 1:28.4 11 January 1930 Eisstadion Davos, Davos
500 m 42.6 13 January 1931 Badrutts Park, St. Moritz
3000 m 5:19.2 8 January 1932 Eisstadion Davos, Davos

Source: SpeedSkatingStats.com[2]

Personal records[edit]

Personal records
Men's speed skating
Distance Time Date Location Notes
500 m 42.6 13 January 1931 Badrutts Park, St. Moritz World record until beaten by Hans Engnestangen on 21 January 1933.[3]
1000 m 1:27.4 4 March 1931 Bislett Stadion, Oslo
1500 m 2:18.1 11 January 1930 Eisstadion Davos, Davos
3000 m 5:00.6 12 February 1933 Eisstadion Davos, Davos
5000 m 8:32.6 4 February 1928 Eisstadion Davos, Davos
10000 m 17:34.8 5 February 1928 Eisstadion Davos, Davos

Note that Thunberg's personal record on the 3000 m was not recognised as an official world record.

Thunberg has an Adelskalender score of 192.633 points. His highest ranking on the Adelskalender was a second place.

Medals[edit]

An overview of medals won by Thunberg at important championships he participated in, listing the years in which he won each:

Championships Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal
Winter Olympics 1924 (1500 m)
1924 (5000 m)
1924 (Allround)
1928 (500 m)
1928 (1500 m)
1924 (10000 m) 1924 (500 m)
World Allround 1923
1925
1928
1929
1931
1927 1922
European Allround 1922
1928
1931
1932
1923
1924
1927
1929
Finnish Allround 1920
1922
1924
1927
1928
1921 1916

Source: SpeedSkatingStats.com[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Clas Thunberg". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Clas Thunberg". SpeedSkatingStats.com. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Evolution of the world record 500 meters Men". www.speedskatingstats.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
Records
Preceded by
Himself with Norway Ivar Ballangrud
Athlete with the most medals at Winter Olympics
2 February 1964 – 5 February 1964
With: Ivar Ballangrud
Sixten Jernberg
Succeeded by
Sweden Sixten Jernberg
Preceded by
Himself
Athlete with the most medals at Winter Olympics
14 February 1936 – 2 February 1964
With: Ivar Ballangrud
Succeeded by
Himself with Norway Ivar Ballangrud and Sweden Sixten Jernberg
Preceded by
Himself with Norway Roald Larsen
Athlete with the most medals at Winter Olympics
14 February 1928 – 14 February 1936
Succeeded by
Himself with Norway Ivar Ballangrud
Preceded by
Himself with United States Charles Jewtraw, Norway Oskar Olsen and Norway Roald Larsen
Athlete with the most medals at Winter Olympics
26 January 1924 – 14 February 1928
With: Roald Larsen
Succeeded by
Himself
Preceded by
First medal
Athlete with the most medals at Winter Olympics
26 January 1924 – 26 January 1924
With: Charles Jewtraw
Oskar Olsen
Roald Larsen
Succeeded by
Himself with Norway Roald Larsen