Coordinates: 60°47′35.34″N 11°5′59.25″E / 60.7931500°N 11.0997917°E / 60.7931500; 11.0997917
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Hamar Olympic Hall
LocationÅkersvikvegen 1, NO-2321 Hamar, Norway
Coordinates60°47′35.34″N 11°5′59.25″E / 60.7931500°N 11.0997917°E / 60.7931500; 11.0997917
OwnerHamar Municipality
OperatorHamar Olympiske Anlegg
Capacity10,600 (sporting events)
20,000 (concerts)
Broke ground1990
Opened19 December 1992
Construction cost230 million kr
ArchitectNiels Torp
Biong & Biong
1993 Bandy World Championship
World Allround Speed Skating Championships (1993, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2013)
1993 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
1994 Winter Olympics
1994 Winter Paralympics
1996 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships
World Sprint Speed Skating Championships (1997, 2002, 2007)
Speedway Grand Prix (2002–04)
2016 Winter Youth Olympics

Vikingskipet ("The Viking Ship"), officially known as Hamar Olympic Hall (Norwegian: Hamar olympiahall), is an indoor multi-use sport and event venue in Hamar, Norway. It was built as the speed skating rink for the 1994 Winter Olympics, and has since also hosted events and tournaments in ice speedway, motorcycle speedway, rally, association football, bandy, ice sledge speed racing, flying disc and track cycling. The arena is also used for concerts, trade fair and the annual computer party The Gathering. It is the home arena of Hamar IL bandy team. The venue is owned by Hamar Municipality, and along with Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre is run by the municipal Hamar Olympiske Anlegg. Vikingskipet has a capacity for 10,600 spectators during sporting events and 20,000 during concerts.

The arena was designed by Niels Torp, and Biong & Biong, and opened on 19 December 1992. The complex cost 230 million Norwegian krone (NOK). The construction location was controversial, as it is located at Åkervika, a Ramsar site. It is Norway's national venue for speed skating and bandy, and holds annual ISU Speed Skating World Cup races, as well as regular world championships. It has among other things hosted tournaments of the World Allround Speed Skating Championships, European Speed Skating Championships, World Single Distance Championships, World Sprint Speed Skating Championships, UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Speedway Grand Prix and World Rally Championship.


Aerial view of Hamar with Vikingskipet in the foreground
Vikingskipet in profile, as seen from Mjøsa

During the process of the Lillehammer bid for the 1992 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee had not specified that it was necessary with an indoor speed skating rink.[1] Due the interference of winter winds in Calgary had to build the indoor Olympic Oval as the venue for the 1988 Winter Olympics,[2] but Albertville, who were awarded the 1992 Winter Olympics, had opted for the L'anneau de vitesse an outdoor temporary track on a football stadium.[3] In its bid, the speed skating events were planned held at Stampesletta area, on another temporary track.[4] In 1986,ISU decided that the Olympics events could be only held on indoor venues.[1]

Hamar had previously been a venue for international speed skating events at Hamar stadion. The town was therefore selected to host the two skating venues. In December 1989, it was decided that the new venue would be built at Åkervika, a Ramsar site 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) outside downtown Hamar.A compromise was reached whereby the stadium was moved 50 meters (160 ft) from its original location, two birdwatching towers were built, and a lumber yard was moved.[5] Nature and Youth remained opposed to the plans, stating the location "has destroyed part of one of the world's most important bird reserves".[6]

The construction was passed by the Parliament of Norway in April 1990.[5] Architects were Niels Torp, and Biong and Biong.[7] Ole K. Karlsen was selected to build the building, in competition with eleven other contractors.[8] The ventilation contract worth NOK 18 million had originally been awarded to Hagen & Haugan on 29 May 1991. Two days later, the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee (LOOC) signed a sponsorship agreement with Norsk Viftefabrikk and Elektrisk Bureau, both part of Asea Brown Boveri, which demanded discounts in their sponsorship payments for not receiving the contract.[9] In September 1992, Investa, which owned Ole K. Karlsen, filed for bankruptcy, causing delays in construction.[10] When it opened, Vikingskipet was the largest indoor sports venue in the world, and has twice the spectator capacity of the Calgary Olympic Oval.[8] The ice rink was first tested on 15 December 1992,[11] and officially opened on 19 December.[12]

The construction of the venue cost NOK 230 million, which was almost entirely financed through state grants. Hamar Municipality contributed by building a co-located fire station for NOK 21 million. Local businesses also contributed with NOK 8 million. Moelven Industrier and Fireguard both contributed in exchange for being able to use the venues for marketing large wooden structures. To finance the operating deficit after the Olympics, Hamar Municipality received a capital grant of NOK 30 million, with the interest going to pay for running Vikingskipet and Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre. Operating costs were estimated at NOK 7 million per year; the venue will receive income of NOK 1 million from larger events, NOK 1 million will come from free work from the fire department, and NOK 1 million from advertisements.[1] Similar to Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre, the venue has two official names, Hamar Olympic Hall and Vikingskipet. The former cannot be used commercially by non-Olympic events, such as in merchandise.[13]


The Gathering during 2009

The venue has a floor area of 25,000 square meters (270,000 sq ft) and a volume of 400,000 cubic meters (14,000,000 cu ft). The hall has a spectator capacity of 10,600 people, of which 2,000 can be seated. During the Olympics, this included 250 VIP seats, 250 press seats and 100 commentator seats. Access to the inner ring can be provided via an underpass. Lighting is provided at 1,400 lux, while the venue has a ventilation system capable of both heating and cooling, as well as de-moisturizing, and both re-use and circulation of air. The refrigeration unit uses an ammonia and saline solution, which is transported in pipes within the concrete, which allows for an ice temperature of between −5.5 and −6.5 degrees Celsius (22 and 20 °F). The heat from the refrigerating unit can be reused.[14]

The rink itself is 400 meters (1,300 ft) long, with a turning radius of 25.5 meters (84 ft). Within the speed skating rink lies a bandy field. The venue was designed to also allow for association football, cycling, track and field, curling, motorsports and cross-country skiing.[7] The inside of the track can also be used for association football, with pitch dimensions up to 105 by 68 meters (344 by 223 ft). It can also function as an indoor driving range for golf.[14] The name derives from the roof looking like the keel of a Viking ship. The building is visible from the E6 motorway and the Dovre Line passing through Hamar, and was planned to be Hamar's main landmark.[8]


During the Olympics, transport was in part provided by Vikingskipet Station on the Røros Line, which passes right next to the venue. The station is a cul-de-sac station which is electrified and allowed trains during the Olympics and the Track Cycling World Championships to reach the venue within a short walk from the train.[15] The station was officially opened on 16 August 1993.[16] The station has not been used since the Olympics. In 2006, the Norwegian National Rail Administration proposed re-opening the station in conjunction with larger events.[15]


Sign informing about it being an Olympic venue
Azerbaijan stamp depicting Bonnie Blair during the 1994 Winter Olympics

Prior to the Olympic Games, the venue hosted three world championships in 1993. In February, it hosted all but two preliminary matches of the 1993 Bandy World Championship. To make the games more attractive, preliminary round matches were reduced from 90 to 60 minutes.[17] The final was spectated by 5,338 people.[18] For four months, the venue was equipped with a velodrome, which allowed the venue to host the 1993 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.[1] The velodrome cost NOK 95 million less than building a permanent velodrome in Oslo, which would be hosting the 1993 UCI Road World Championships. The Norwegian Cycling Federation had originally bid for the championships to get a permanent velodrome built at Hasle in Oslo, but declined the offer and instead chose the temporary concept. Because the velodrome only has a circumference of 250 meters (820 ft), the venue's spectator capacity was reduced to 3,000 people.[19]

Hamar was the center for skating sports during the 1994 Winter Olympics. The other venue in town was Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre, which featured the short track speed skating and figure skating events.[20] Vikingskipet held ten speed skating events, five for men and five for women. Norway's Johann Olav Koss took three golds, in the men's 1,500 meters, 5000 meters and 10000 meters. In the latter two, he finished ahead of fellow countryman Kjell Storelid. The men's 500 meters was won by Russia's Aleksandr Golubev ahead of fellow countryman Sergey Klevchenya, while the men's 1000 meters was won by American Dan Jansen. Koss and Jansen won their olympic golds setting new world record time on their distances. For women, American Bonnie Blair defended her two 1992 golds in 500 meters and 1000 meters. Austria's Emese Hunyady won the 1500 meters ahead of Russia's Svetlana Bazhanova and Germany's Gunda Niemann. However, Bazhanova took gold ahead of Nemeth-Hunyady on the 3000 meters, with Germany's Claudia Pechstein in third. Pechstein would go on to win the 5000 meters ahead of Niemann.[21]

Vikingskipet was proposed to also host curling, should it be included in the Olympic program. It had been a demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992 Olympics, but was eventually discarded from the Lillehammer program. The event would have used the same production equipment as for speed skating, and would have consisted of a four-team tournament for both men and women, and would have been held during the Games' two last days.[22] Vikingskipet was the venue for ice sledge speed skating during the 1994 Winter Paralympics. Eight events were held, four for women and four for men. The event had 22 participants from 7 nations competing for 24 medals,[23] resulting in 23 of 24 medals being awarded to Norwegian athletes.[24][25] Atle Haglund set two world records.[26]

The venue is the national stadium for speed skating in Norway. It hosts annual ISU Speed Skating World Cup,[14] and has in addition hosted many European and world championships. This includes the World Allround Speed Skating Championships in 1993 (for men), 1999, 2004, 2009, 2013 and 2017 tournaments.[27] The World Sprint Speed Skating Championships has been held in 1997, 2002 and 2007,[28] while the World Single Distance Championships was held in 1996.[29] The European Speed Skating Championships has been held four times, in 1994, 2000, 2006, 2010 and 2014.[30]

Since 1996, Vikingskipet has hosted The Gathering, a computer party which is held every Easter.[31] Concerts held at Vikingskipet include Andrea Bocelli (2005),[32] Beyoncé (2007),[33] Cliff Richard (2007),[34] and Stevie Wonder (2008).[35] The Norway women's national football team played Sweden on 21 January 1996, winning 4–0.[36] Vikingskipet hosted a round of the Speedway Grand Prix in 2002, 2003 and 2004.[37] It was also the service depot and race headquarters for Rally Norway, which was arranged in 2006, 2007 and 2009. The latter two were part of the World Rally Championship.[38][39]

In March 2011, the Norwegian Skating Association announced that they indented that the Norwegian World Cup events would be moved to Sørmarka Arena in Stavanger, due to low attendance at Vikingskipet.[40] Vikingskipet has been selected to host the 2013 World Allround Speed Skating Championships.[41] Lillehammer hosted the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics,[42] with Vikingskipet hosting the long track speed skating events.[14]

Rink records[edit]

Vikingskipet is one of few indoor speed skating venues in the world, which has allowed for many world records. The following is a list of the rink records, including the distance, gender, the record time, the athlete who set the record, the country they represent, and the date the record was set.[43]

Distance Gender Time Athlete Country Date
100 m Men 9.78 Pekka Koskela Finland 6 November 2004
500 m Men 34.31 Jeremy Wotherspoon Canada 26 January 2008
1000 m Men 1:08.16 Thomas Krol Netherlands 3 March 2022
1500 m Men 1:44.27 Shani Davis United States 21 November 2009
3000 m Men 3:42.27 Sverre Lunde Pedersen Norway 27 October 2018
5000 m Men 6:09.74 Sven Kramer Netherlands 7 February 2009
10000 m Men 12:50.96 Sven Kramer Netherlands 22 November 2009
Sprint combination Men 138.775 Lee Kyou-hyuk South Korea 02007-01-2120–21 January 2007
Mini combination Men 151.949 Johan Röjler Sweden 02002-02-1212–13 February 2002
Small combination Men 155.699 Jarmo Valtonen Finland 02003-11-011–2 November 2003
Big combination Men 150.748 Sven Kramer Netherlands 02009-02-077–8 February 2009
Team pursuit (8 laps) Men 3:48.67 United States 13 November 2004
100 m Women 11.15 Linda Olsen Norway 3 November 2002
500 m Women 37.25 Nao Kodaira Japan 2 February 2019
1000 m Women 1:14.79 Brittany Bowe United States 2 February 2019
1500 m Women 1:54.65 Ireen Wüst Netherlands 25 January 2008
3000 m Women 3:58.00 Irene Schouten Netherlands 5 March 2022
5000 m Women 6:50.08 Martina Sáblíková Czech Republic 21 November 2009
10000 m Women 16:44.01 Nina Tørset Norway 18 January 2015
Sprint combination Women 151.935 Anni Friesinger Germany 02007-01-2120–21 January 2007
Mini combination Women 166.904 Maren Haugli Norway 02005-10-2222–23 October 2005
Big combination Women 225.097 Anja Neumann Germany 02019-01-1919-20 January 2019
Team pursuit (6 laps) Women 3:00.90 Canada 28 November 2010
Small combination Women 159.736 Ireen Wüst Netherlands 02014-01-1211–12 January 2014

World records[edit]

Vikingskipet has been the venues for world records in speed skating, track cycling, ice sledge speed racing and frisbee. The following is a list of world records set in Vikingskipet, including the sport, event, gender, time or distance, the athlete, their country and the date the record was set. During the 1994 Winter Olympics, four of the five distances for men's speed skating received new world records.[26]

Sport Event Gender Time/distance Athlete Country Date
Speed skating 500 m Men 35.92 Dan Jansen United States 4 December 1993
Speed skating 1000 m Men 1:12.43 Dan Jansen United States 18 February 1994
Speed skating 1500 m Men 1:51.60 Rintje Ritsma Netherlands 8 January 1994
Speed skating 1500 m Men 1:51.29 Johann Olav Koss Norway 16 February 1994
Speed skating 5000 m Men 6:35.53 Johann Olav Koss Norway 4 December 1993
Speed skating 5000 m Men 6:34.96 Johann Olav Koss Norway 13 February 1994
Speed skating 10000 m Men 13:30.55 Johann Olav Koss Norway 20 February 1994
Speed skating Big combination Men 156.201 Rintje Ritsma Netherlands 01994-01-077–9 January 1994
Speed skating Big combination Men 152.651 Rintje Ritsma Netherlands 01999-02-066–7 February 1994
Speed skating 3000 m Women 4:07.13 Claudia Pechstein Germany 13 December 1997
Speed skating 3000 m Women 4:00.26 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann Germany 17 February 2001
Speed skating 5000 m Women 7:13.29 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann Germany 6 December 1993
Speed skating 5000 m Women 6:56.84 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann Germany 16 January 2000
Speed skating Small combination Women 167.282 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann Germany 01994-01-077–9 January 1994
Speed skating Small combination Women 161.479 Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann Germany 01999-02-066–7 February 1994
Track cycling 1 hour Men 51.596 km Graeme Obree United Kingdom 17 July 1993
Track cycling 4000 m individual pursuit Men 4:23.283 Philippe Ermenault France 18 July 1993
Track cycling 4000 m individual pursuit Men 4:22.668 Graeme Obree United Kingdom 18 July 1993
Track cycling 4000 m individual pursuit Men 4:20.894 Graeme Obree United Kingdom 19 July 1993
Track cycling 4000 m team pursuit Men 4:03.840 Australia 20 July 1993
Track cycling 3000 m individual pursuit Women 3:37.347 Rebecca Twigg United States 20 August 1993
Ice sledge speed racing 1000 m LW 11 Men 3:14.21 Atle Haglund Norway 18 March 1994
Ice sledge speed racing 1500 m LW 11 Men 3:21.29 Atle Haglund Norway 20 March 1994
Frisbee Men 133.72 m Sune Wentzel Norway 12 March 1997
Frisbee Men 143.41 m Sune Wentzel Norway 8 June 1999

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Anda, Torgeir (2 June 1992). "Etterbruken – OLs levende spøkelse". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). p. 18.
  2. ^ Canadian Olympic Committee. "1988 Winter Olympics Official Report" (PDF). p. 144. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  3. ^ French Olympic Committee. "1992 Olympics Official Report" (PDF). p. 84. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  4. ^ Anda, Torgeir (15 September 1992). "OL-ideens "fedre" angrer". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). p. 18.
  5. ^ a b LOOC (III): 51
  6. ^ "Aksjon mot åpningen av Vikingskipet på Hamar" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 29 November 1992.
  7. ^ a b LOOC (III): 54
  8. ^ a b c Gunn, Gravdal (6 February 1991). "Snart klarsignal for Hamar Olympiahall" (in Norwegian). p. 52.
  9. ^ "Nye forhandlinger etter sponsor-bråk" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 16 June 1991.
  10. ^ "OL-utbygging stanses av Investa-krisen" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 2 September 1992.
  11. ^ Kvalheim, Svein (15 December 1992). "Testet Vikingskipet". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). p. 15.
  12. ^ "Rekorder på rad og rekke i "Vikingskipet"" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 20 December 1992.
  13. ^ "Forvirring om bruk av navn på OL-arenaer" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 2 September 1992.
  14. ^ a b c d Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports. "Candidate city for the Winter Youth Olympic Games: Lillehammer 2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Jernbaneverket vil ha godsterminal i Hamar". Hamar Dagblad (in Norwegian). 21 September 2006.
  16. ^ Norwegian Railway Club. "Vikingskipet" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  17. ^ "Bandy-VM med nytt opplegg i Hamar og Oslo" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 27 October 1992.
  18. ^ "Bandy-VM søndag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 7 February 1993.
  19. ^ Bugge, Mette; Hansen, Espen (30 January 1992). "Den billige velodromen". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 15.
  20. ^ LOOC (III): 57
  21. ^ "Speed Skating at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  22. ^ Hole, Arne (13 October 1992). "Curling med allerede i neste OL?". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 40.
  23. ^ Brandås, Frank (15 March 1994). "Fikset 8 gull". Nordlys (in Norwegian). p. 25.
  24. ^ "Norsk gulldryss på isen". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 15 March 1994. p. 48.
  25. ^ Nygaard, Brynjulf (17 March 1994). "Helnorsk i ispigging igjen". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 55.
  26. ^ a b Hamar Olympiske Anlegg. "Verdensrekorder" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  27. ^ Teigen, Magne (1 July 2009). "Medal winners in World Allround Championships" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  28. ^ Teigen, Magne (1 July 2009). "Medal winners in World Sprint Championships 1970–2009" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  29. ^ Teigen, Magne (1 July 2009). "Medal winners in World Single Distance Championships 1996–2009" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  30. ^ Elster, Kristian (10 June 2007). "Norge fikk 2010-EM". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  31. ^ Thoresen, Jan (3 April 1996). "2500 helfrelste tar påskeferie på Internett". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 5.
  32. ^ Thorkildsen, Joakim (22 July 2005). "Bocelli i Vikingskipet". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 6.
  33. ^ "Superstjerne til Vikingskipet". Hamar Dagblad (in Norwegian). 11 September 2006.
  34. ^ Thorkildsen, Joakim (21 September 2006). "Cliff Richard til Vikingskipet". Dagbladet (in Norwegian).
  35. ^ "Stevie Wonder til Hamar" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 5 June 2008.
  36. ^ "Norge Kvinner Senior A" (in Norwegian). Football Association of Norway. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  37. ^ "SGP Grand Finals by Year". BSI Speedway. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  38. ^ "Slik blir Rally Norway i Hamar". Hamar Dagblad (in Norwegian). 19 January 2006.
  39. ^ "Sammen om rally". Glåmdalen (in Norwegian). 17 September 2008. p. 26.
  40. ^ "Skøyteforbundet velger Stavanger" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 10 March 2011.
  41. ^ "Allround-VM til Hamar 2013". Hamar Dagblad (in Norwegian). 25 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  42. ^ "Lillehammer awarded 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games". Inside the Games. 7 December 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  43. ^ "Banerekorder" (in Norwegian). Vikingskipet. Retrieved 2 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Vikingskipet at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by Bandy World Championship
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Succeeded by