Speed skating at the 1924 Winter Olympics – Men's 500 metres
|Men's 500 metres speed skating
at the I Olympic Winter Games
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|
|Speed skating at the
1924 Winter Olympics
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.
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. This resulted in a slight reordering of skaters.
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. Mathisen himself was unable to attend the Games due to his status as a professional. 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.
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.
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.
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|
The following records were set during this competition.
|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|
|15||Jewtraw, CharlesCharles Jewtraw||United States||44.0||—||OR|
|12||Olsen, OskarOskar Olsen||Norway||44.2||+0.2||OR|
|=||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.
|Judge Referee||Captain Hammerstad||Norway|
|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|
- "Speed Skating at the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games: Men's 500 metres". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "I taliolümpiamängud Chamonix 1924 (25. jaanuar – 5. veebruar)". Postimees (in Estonian). 18 January 2006. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012.
- 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.
- "Speed Skating at the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Oscar Mathisen, 4 October 1888". evertstenlund.se. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
- "Results of the men's 500 metres speed skating at the 1924 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 11 March 2018.