Gerard van Velde

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Gerard van Velde
Gerard van Velde portrait.JPG
Gerard van Velde
Personal information
Born (1971-11-30) 30 November 1971 (age 42)
Wapenveld, Netherlands
Sport
Country Netherlands
Sport Speed skating
Turned pro 1990
Retired 2008

Gerard Pieter Hendrik van Velde (born 30 November 1971 in Wapenveld, Gelderland) is a retired Dutch speed skater, and was specialised in sprinting.

He was considered the best Dutch sprinter during the early 1990s, but did not manage to win a medal in either the 1992 or 1994 Winter Olympics. The 1992 Games were particularly frustrating, as he missed a bronze medal by only one-hundredth of a second.

During the late 1990s, clap skates became standard in Olympic competition. Van Velde had such difficulty adjusting to the techniques required with these new skates that he retired from skating and became a car salesman. However, he was not finished with the skating world.

Rintje Ritsma, another Dutch skater invited van Velde to be his training partner, and, during training, he mastered the clap skate techniques. He decided to try out for the 2002 Winter Olympics, in spite of the arrival of a new generation of Dutch sprinters such as Jan Bos, Erben Wennemars and Jakko Jan Leeuwangh. Van Velde became the fourth sprinter to qualify for the games.

In Salt Lake City, he started before all the other favorites and raced to a world record finish with a time of 1:07.18. This time he shaved more than half a second from the previous best world time, and more than a second from his personal best. The skaters who followed were unable to best him, and he won the gold medal.

In December 2005, at the Dutch Olympic trials in Heerenveen, van Velde failed to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Records[edit]

Personal records[edit]

Personal records
Men's speed skating
Distance Time Date Location Notes
500 m 34.59 6 February 2003 Calgary
1000 m 1:07.18 16 February 2002 Salt Lake City OR
1500 m 1:48.53 26 September 2004 Calgary
3000 m 4:02.18 30 November 2004 Calgary

Source: SpeedskatingResults.com[1]

World records[edit]

Event Time Date Venue
1000 m 1:07.18 16 February 2002 United States Salt Lake City

Source: SpeedSkatingStats.com[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gerard van Velde". SpeedskatingResults.com. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gerard van Velde". SpeedSkatingStats.com. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
Awards
Preceded by
Netherlands Gianni Romme
Ard Schenk Award
2001
Succeeded by
Netherlands Jochem Uytdehaage
Netherlands Andrea Nuyt