27 December 1971 |
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||76 kg (168 lb)|
Zandstra was born in Heerenveen, Friesland. He was a natural talent who had his career peak at a very young age. In 1990 and 1991 he became junior world champion. In 1991 he won with a world record in the small combination. In his international debut year 1992 he became European Champion Allround and finished second in the World Allround Championships, after Roberto Sighel. In that season he also won the World Cup at the 1500 meters and a silver medal at the Winter Olympics in the 5000 meters. A year later, in 1993 he became World champion and European champion again.
From 1994 on, his career went downwards. At the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer he won the bronze medal in the 1500 meters and finished fourth in the 5000 and 10000 meters. He also won the 1500 meters World Cup again. In 1995 he finished second in the European championships. At the World championships that year, he fell during the 1500 meters when he threw his arm band (which is used to indicate in which lane a skater has started) over his own skate. Because of this he didn't qualify for the 10,000 meters.
For 49 days, from January 23 until March 13, 1993, Falko Zandstra was the leader in the Adelskalender.
After his career, Zandstra switched to marathon skating with little success and he quit skating in 1999. Today he runs his own company in roof and wall plating called Falko Dak & Wand in Heerenveen. He is married to former Dutch speed skater Ellen Linnenbank.
In the course of his career, Zandstra skated nine world records, of which six were junior world records:
|3000 m junior||4.02,10||13 March 1990||Heerenveen|
|Small combination junior||159.753||17 February 1991||Heerenveen|
|Small combination||159.753||17 February 1991||Heerenveen|
|3000 m junior||3.57,64||1 March 1991||Calgary|
|1500 m junior||1.53,26||2 March 1991||Calgary|
|5000 m junior||6.47,10||3 March 1991||Calgary|
|Small combination junior||156.059||3 March 1991||Calgary|
|Small combination||156.059||3 March 1991||Calgary|
|Big combination||156.882||23 January 1993||Heerenveen|
|Men's Speed skating|
|Oscar Mathisen Award
Johann Olav Koss
|Dutch Sportsman of the Year
Dries van Wijhe
|Ard Schenk Award