Speed skating at the 1924 Winter Olympics – Men's 500 metres

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Men's 500 metres speed skating
at the I Olympic Winter Games
Refer to caption
Gold medallist Charles Jewtraw in 1921
Venue Stade Olympique de Chamonix
Date 26 January 1924
Competitors 27 from 10 nations
Winning time 44.0 OR
1st, gold medalist(s) Charles Jewtraw  United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Oskar Olsen  Norway
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Roald Larsen  Norway
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Clas Thunberg  Finland
1928 →

The 500 metres speed skating event at the 1924 Winter Olympics was held on 26 January 1924 at the Stade Olympique de Chamonix. One of four speed skating events to be contested at these Games, this was the first event ever contested at the Winter Olympics. The event was won by American Charles Jewtraw who became the first Winter Olympics gold medallist.[1]


The event required competitors to skate one and quarter laps of the 400 metre track. Under the rules of the International Skating Union, athletes raced in pairs in a straight time-trial event. Prior to the event, the pairs were determined by the drawing of lots. With 31 speed skaters from 13 nations due to compete, this was reduced to 27 from 10 nations after the withdrawal of four athletes, including Christfried Burmeister who was due to be Estonia's only representative at the inaugural Winter Games. He did not attend Chamonix but word failed to reach Games organisers in time.[2] This resulted in a slight reordering of skaters.[3]

Leading up the Games, the Finnish team was training in Davos where Clas Thunberg had set a time of 43.8 seconds, four tenths slower than Oscar Mathisen's world record.[1] Mathisen himself was unable to attend the Games due to his status as a professional.[4] The Americans contested metric events at Saranac Lake where Jewtraw clocked 46.6. He also set a new world record in the 100 yard event in 9.4 seconds. Whilst Roald Larsen of Norway skated a 44.6 in Frogner.[1]

Joe Moore of the United States and Eric Blomgren of Sweden became the first athletes to ever compete at the Winter Olympics, with Moore setting the first Olympic record covering the distance in 45.6 seconds. Asser Wallenius of Finland, bettered Moore's time by 0.6 second to move into first position with 11 skaters to go. Next to skate was the eventual silver medallist Norway's Oskar Olsen who crossed the line in 44.2 seconds. The defending world champion Clas Thunberg and Norway's Roald Larsen had to settle for sharing the bronze medal with a time of 44.8 seconds. The gold medal performance came from pair 15 where American Jewtraw was up against Charles Gorman. The Canadian took the lead, but was soon overtaken by Jewtraw finishing in a time of a 44 seconds flat.[1]

Jewtraw coming from a poor family found the sport expensive and but found sponsorship from Lake Placid businessman Jack Mabbit. He had retired before the 1924 Games but made a comeback to compete. After the gold medal, he skated two more Olympic races before retiring once more.[1]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Oscar Mathisen (NOR) 43.4 Davos, Switzerland 17 January 1914
Olympic record '

The following records were set during this competition.

Date Round Athlete Country Time Record
26 January 1924 Pair 1 Joe Moore  United States 45.6 OR
26 January 1924 Pair 11 Asser Wallenius  Finland 45.0 OR
26 January 1924 Pair 12 Oskar Olsen  Norway 44.2 OR
26 January 1924 Pair 15 Charles Jewtraw  United States 44.0 OR


The event began at 10:00.[3][6]

Rank Pair Name Country Time Time behind Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) 15 Jewtraw, CharlesCharles Jewtraw  United States 44.0 OR
2nd, silver medalist(s) 12 Olsen, OskarOskar Olsen  Norway 44.2 +0.2 OR
=3rd, bronze medalist(s) 17 Larsen, RoaldRoald Larsen  Norway 44.8 +0.8 [a]
14 Thunberg, ClasClas Thunberg  Finland
5 11 Wallenius, AsserAsser Wallenius  Finland 45.0 +1.0 OR
6 13 Blomqvist, AxelAxel Blomqvist  Sweden 45.2 +1.2
7 15 Gorman, CharlesCharles Gorman  Canada 45.4 +1.4
=8 1 Moore, JoeJoe Moore  United States 45.6 +1.6 OR
13 Strøm, HaraldHarald Strøm  Norway
10 10 Skutnabb, JuliusJulius Skutnabb  Finland 46.4 +2.4
11 1 Blomgren, EricEric Blomgren  Sweden 46.6 +2.6
12 6 Kaskey, HarryHarry Kaskey  United States 47.0 +3.0
13 5 Moen, SigurdSigurd Moen  Norway 47.2 +3.2
14 12 Steinmetz, BillBill Steinmetz  United States 47.8 +3.8
15 3 Quaglia, LéonhardLéonhard Quaglia  France 48.4 +4.4
16 18 Rumba, AlbertsAlberts Rumba  Latvia 48.8 +4.8 [b]
17 4 Jucewicz, LeonLeon Jucewicz  Poland 49.6 +5.6
18 3 Hassler, AlbertAlbert Hassler  France 50.6 +6.6
19 14 De Ridder, LouisLouis De Ridder  Belgium 52.8 +8.8
20 11 Gegout, AndréAndré Gegout  France 53.2 +9.2
21 17 de Wilde, GeorgeGeorge de Wilde  France 54.8 +10.8 [c]
22 8 Van Hazebroeck, GastonGaston Van Hazebroeck  Belgium 55.8 +11.8
=23 8 Dix, FrederickFrederick Dix  Great Britain 56.4 +12.4
10 Van Volckxsom, PhilippePhilippe Van Volckxsom  Belgium
25 5 Sutton, BernardBernard Sutton  Great Britain 1:00.8 +16.8
26 6 Moens, MarcelMarcel Moens  Belgium 1:02.2 +18.2
27 4 Horn, CyrilCyril Horn  Great Britain 1:04.4 +20.4
28 2 Burmeister, ChristfriedChristfried Burmeister  Estonia 99.9 99.9 DNS
28 7 Tebbit, AlbertAlbert Tebbit  Great Britain 99.9 99.9 DNS
28 9 Spengler, A. K.A. K. Spengler  Switzerland 99.9 99.9 DNS
28 9 Locatelli, G.G. Locatelli  Italy 99.9 99.9 DNS


The officials for the events were as follows.[3]

Role Name Country
Judge Referee Captain Hammerstad Norway
Starter Hans Vallar Switzerland
Timekeeper Ch. Faroux France
Timekeeper Degraine France
Timekeeper Goury France
Timekeeper Meiers France
Timekeeper Captain Levalhati Finland
Turns Poplimont Belgium
Turns Taylor United States
Turns R. George France
Commissioners at the crossroads Steen Peterson Norway
Commissioners at the crossroads Maucourt France
Commissioners at the crossroads Valley France
Delegates to the athletes Ch. Sabouret France
Delegates to the athletes Becci France


  1. ^ Originally in pair 2 with Burmeister[3]
  2. ^ Originally in pair 7 with Tebbit[3]
  3. ^ Originally in pair 16 by himself[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Speed Skating at the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games: Men's 500 metres". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "I taliolümpiamängud Chamonix 1924 (25. jaanuar – 5. veebruar)". Postimees (in Estonian). 18 January 2006. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f M. A. Avé, ed. (1924). Les Jeux de la VIIIe Olympiade Paris 1924 – Rapport Officiel [The Games of the VIII Olympiad Paris 1924 – Official Report] (pdf) (Report) (in French). Paris: French Olympic Committee. pp. 669-70. 
  4. ^ "Speed Skating at the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "Oscar Mathisen, 4 October 1888". evertstenlund.se. Retrieved 10 March 2018. 
  6. ^ "Results of the men's 500 metres speed skating at the 1924 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 11 March 2018.