The men's 5000 m speed skating competition at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, was held on 11 February, the first day of competition at the Olympics. The AmericanChad Hedrick, a former inline skater, began his quest to emulate Eric Heiden by taking five gold medals by racing a time of 6:14.68, 0.02 second behind the four-year-old Olympic record of Jochem Uytdehaage, which was enough to clinch gold. Dutchman Sven Kramer won the silver medal, 1.72 seconds adrift, while home skater Enrico Fabris claimed Italy's first medal by skating home the bronze in the very last pair.
After running even with the Romanian for the first 200 metres from the outside lane, Veldkamp started with two sub-30 laps, and despite going up in lap times for the whole race and ending with a lap of 32.84, Veldkamp finished in 6:32.02, 18 seconds ahead of his Romanian compatriot.
Neither of the Asians had the stamina to catch Veldkamp; though Yeo was two seconds behind after 3.5 laps, and skated his first four full laps under 30 seconds, he finished with his last four laps in 36 seconds and ended with the worst time yet, 6:58.13. Gao held better, with a last lap of 34.10, and finished in second place with 6:44.78.
Warsylewicz, who clocked the first 3,000 metres in 3:54.51, was only 0.6 seconds behind Donagrandi then. However, he finished with laps of 34 and 35; Donagrandi kept his lap times better, only bursting into 32 on his penultimate lap, and went into second place with 6:33.45, over 10 seconds ahead of Warsylewicz.
Two more Asians; Babenko won the battle, placing third after four pairs with 6:42.25, while Ushiyama fell behind in the first few hundred metres and eventually clocked 6:51.53, which was to be the second worst time of the day.
Zygmunt took an early lead, and remained ahead for the entire race, as the Canadian went into 31 on the third full lap and 32 on the fifth; Zygmunt did not break 31 until the sixth lap. With three laps to go, Zygmunt was 0.08 behind second-placed Donagrandi; however, a last lap of 33.61 spoiled his chance of a second place thus far, as he clocked 6:35.01. Elm placed fourth, a further six seconds adrift.
Miyazaki, the last Asian, also records the best time of any Asian skater in the race; however, Boutiette kept ahead from the start, and despite losing time mid-race with a worst lap of 32.45, he went under 32 again for the penultimate lap. Boutiette eventually placed fourth, with 6:37.29, while Miyazaki, a further three seconds adrift, was fifth.
The Scandinavians both better the leading time of Veldkamp, who was finally dethroned after six pairs in the lead. Röjler led the pair until 3,000 metres, when Sætre took over, clocking a time of 3:50.06, 1.4 seconds ahead of Veldkamp. Sætre went up from 30.19 on the seventh lap to 31.44 on the final lap, but still extended his lead over Veldkamp to 6.88 seconds. Röjler's time of 6:29.24 puts him between the two.
Grødum gained 0.86 seconds on the leader Sætre on the first 600 metres, and didn't give them away, skating a race broadly similar to Sætre's. The German, who won a bronze medal at Salt Lake City in 2002, skates his last five laps above 32 seconds, and his time of 6:38.34 was only enough for eighth place.
Skobrev kept slightly behind Grødum and slightly ahead of his pairmate for most of the race; his final laps cost him a few tenths to Grødum, and he eventually finished in 6:27.02, three seconds behind the Norwegian. Sanfratello was within half a second until 3,000 metres, but went over 32 seconds towards the end, and his time of 6:32.58 was also behind Veldkamp for a fifth place thus far.
Skobrev remains the best Russian after this all-Russian pairing; neither could keep their laps below 32 for the entire race, with Kokhanets skating seven laps between 31 and 32. Detyshev skated the first seven full laps below 31, but finished in 33.16, keeping Kokhanets 1.77 seconds behind him as they go into sixth and eighth place respectively.
Kramer and Verheijen had taken a 1–2 at the Salt Lake City World Cup event in November 2005, when Kramer set a world record; now, Kramer clocked his first 600 metres in just over 47 seconds, 1.3 seconds ahead of leader Grødum. With a worst lap of 30.27, and all but four of his laps below 30, Kramer eventually betters the leading time by eight seconds to end with 6:16.40; Verheijen was not much worse, but lost 1.5 seconds on the final two kilometres, and ended with 6:18.84.
Hedrick took the lead by eight tenths out of his first outer curve, and just extended that lead, as de Jong could only keep below 30 on his first full lap and ended with 6:22.12. Hedrick had caught up with Kramer by 1,400 metres after laps of 29.5, 29.3 and 29.2 seconds, and his six next laps were also below 30, as he took a lead of 2.5 seconds with three laps to go. He lost somewhat towards the end, and a last lap of 30.70 prevented him from skating under Jochem Uytdehaage's Olympic record of 6:14.66; he finished 0.02 seconds behind it.
Davis, the leader of the World Cup on 1,000 metres, clocked the fastest first 600 metres of the day with 46.75. However, after a first full lap of 28.38, the fastest of the day, Davis trailed off, and the second lap following that went slower than 30 seconds. Dankers overtook him with three laps to go, and kept his lap times below 31 to go into fourth place with 6:21.26, while Davis' last lap of 32.21 sent him in 0.96 seconds behind Bob de Jong and into sixth place.
Fabris, the European all-round champion of 2006, paired up with the winner of the 5,000 metres at that event. After the two exchanged the lead for the first 2,000 metres, Fabris gained on his pairmate who had two laps around 30.75, but by 3,000 metres Fabris was more than five seconds behind the leading time. However, Fabris skated progressively faster for his last five laps, and his last lap of 29.25 was his fastest of the entire race; he was the only skater to achieve this. It also brought him in 0.59 seconds ahead of Verheijen to clinch bronze. Ervik, Norway's best by the World Cup standings, completed his last three laps with times above 31.5 seconds, and finished in tenth place, worst of the Norwegians with 6:26.91.