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From Bones to Medals

by Peter Dankers

Bone skates
From Central Europe

Publication of the Anthropological Society Vienna, 1902

William Fitzstephen, secretary of Thomas Beckett , Canterbury writes between 1174 and 1183

.....when there is ice on the lakes, many young men tie bones to their feet, and push themselves forward with a pole, and slide as swift as a bird flies, or as fast as an arrow out of a crossbow. (London chronicles, 1174)

1550 Woodcut

Early skates with iron blades

14th Century Manuscript


First known iron skate blades date from the early 13th century. Amsterdam and Dordrecht The Netherlands

Calendar on parchement Convent of Saint Pierre de Blandigny near Ghent , Flandres

Hieronymus (Jeroen) Bosch, 1450 -1516

Around 1504, Garden of earthly delights, Oil on wood panel, 220x195cm Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Hieronymus (Jeroen) Bosch, 1450 -1516

Detail of the right panel of the triptych

Speed Skating Competitions

First report of a speed skating competition

In 1466 Vclav aek writes in his diary that his lord, the Bohemian Baron Leo von Romital, who stays at the court of Philip the Fair in Brussels, is invited by his host to watch a contest on ice. aek is surprised by the speed of the skaters, faster than a horse and doing cross-overs in the corners. One person in particular is way faster than all other contenders.

C. Whymper

1889, First World Championship, Amsterdam Joe Donoghue, USA vs. Alexander von Pansjin, Russia

First World Championship in North America Jack McCulloch won the title

1924, Chamonix, France The First Olympic Winter Games

Stade de Mont Blanc

Elevation: 1034m

1924, Chamonix, France


31 Speed Skaters 13 countries distances: 500, 1500, 5,000 10,000 and all-round Finland 3 skaters, 8 medals, 4 gold Thunberg 3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze Canadian Delegation Speed skater: Charles Gorman Norway 7 medals Larsen won a medal in every event

1924, Chamonix, France

Saturday, January 26 , 500 m start Jewtraw, USA versus Gorman, Canada (right) Jewtraw wins the race and the first Olympic gold medal

Sankt Moritz, Switzerland, 1928

Badrutts Park, 1921

Elevation: 1856m

Sankt Moritz, Switzerland, 1928


Statistics
Participants 37 Number of countries 14 Medal count Norway 7 Finland 6 USA 1 Julius Skutnab, who won the silver medal in the 5000 m, is still the oldest male speed skater ever to win an Olympic medal at the age of 38. The 10km was stopped after 5 pairs because of poor ice . No medals were awarded.

Sankt Moritz, Switzerland, 1928


Canadians Charles Gorman Willie Logan Ross Robinson

Charles Gorman

Willie Logan

In his second Olympic Winter Games, Gorman was too late at the start of the 1500 m. He was allowed to skate outside competition. His time was recorded but didnt count

Lake Placid, USA, 1932


The Pack-style Games Women skating as demonstration sport

Olympic Stadium, 1931

Elevation: 568m

Lake Placid, USA, 1932

First Olympic Winter Games in North America North American rules were used for the speed skating competition for the only time in history. Some of the best European skaters did not participate. Most medals went to American and Canadian skaters. Only six countries participated for a total of 29 skaters, the least ever.

Lake Placid, USA, 1932

Canadians medals Canadian Speed Skating Team


William Logan, Alex Hurd, Frank Stack, Marion McCarthy, Leopold Sylvestre, Harry Smyth, Herbert Flack Alex Hurd silver medal 1500m, bronze 500m Willie Logan two bronze medals 1500m, 5000m Franck Stack bronze in the 10,000m

Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, 1936

Rieersee

Elevation: 783m

Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, 1936

Canadians
Only one Canadian Thomas White, a 20 years old skater from Saint John (NB), who skated all four distances.

Frank Stack, declined to participate

Sankt Moritz, Switzerland, 1948


For the second time

Badrutts Park, 1921

Elevation: 1856m

Sankt Moritz, Switzerland, 1948


Canadians
Frank Stack Gordon Audley Abe Hardy Craig MacKay

Canadian skaters footed the bill for overdue fees on the spot out of their own pocket.

Oslo, Norway, 1952


First Olympic speed skating competition in a stadium

Bislett Stadion, 1925-1988

Elevation: 37m

Oslo, Norway, 1952


Bronze for Canada Canadians
Gordon Audley Frank Stack Craig MacKay Ralf Olin

Gordon Audley Bronze 500m

Frank Stacks last Olympics After 20 years, 1932,1948,1952

Cortina DAmpezzo, Italy, 1956

The ice surface was cut loose from the lake ice Lago de Misurina Elevation: 1756m Last Olympic Games skated on natural ice

Cortina DAmpezzo, Italy, 1956


Canadians
Ralf Olin Gordon Audley John Sands

The Soviet Union made its first appearance in speed skating and immediately dominated the results.

Squaw Valley, USA, 1960


Women participated for the first time First artificial ice computers were used for the first time to tabulate the results
Helga Haase, Germany first Gold medal for women Lydiya Skoblikova, gold in the1500 and 5000 m Knut Johanessen, first time under 15 minutes in 10km Blyth Memorial Arena, Elevation: 1890m

Squaw Valley, USA, 1960


Canadians
Doreen Ryan Margaret Robb John Sands Ralf Olin Lawrence Mason

Doreen Ryan

Ralph Olin (front) John Sands

Innsbruck, Austria, 1964

Olympia Eisstadion, 1963

Elevation:542m

First electronic timing

Lidiya Skoblikova wins all distances.She has a record total of 6 Olympic gold medals.

Innsbruck, Austria, 1964


Canadians
Doreen Ryan Doreen McCannell Ralf Olin Gerald Koning

Best Canadian result by Doreen McCannell who placed 8th in the 3000 m.

Grenoble, France, 1968

Calgary was its main rival. Votes were 27 to 24 in favour of Grenoble. Lap times were displayed for the first time on boards and television screens during races The water to make the ice was demineralized. Breakthrough for Dutch skaters with 9 medals Parc Paul Mistral Anneau de vitesse, 1968 Elevation:220m

Grenoble, France, 1968


Canadians
Doreen McCannell Marcie Parsons Wendy Thompson Robert Boucher Peter Williamson Robert Hodges Paul Enock

Sapporo, Japan, 1972


First Olympic Winter games in Asia

Ard Schenk, NED, won 3 gold medals Makomanai Skating Centre Capacity 50,000 Elevation 71m

Sapporo, Japan, 1972


Canadians
Doreen McCannell Cathy Priestner Sylvia Burka Gayle Gordon Jennifer Jackson Gerry Cassan John Cassidy Kevin Sirois Sylvia Burka interfered in the 500 m with her competitor Henning from the USA. Henning was allowed a re-skate and won the event. Andrew Barron Robert Hodges

Innsbruck, Austria, 1976


The Olympic facilities in Innsbruck were used for the second time in 12 years because Denver, USA, pulled out of the Games

The 1000m men was added to the speed skating program. Peter Mueller won the first gold medal in this distance

Olympia Eisstadion, 1963

Elevation:542m

Skin-suits made their debut at the Olympics

Innsbruck, Austria, 1976


Canadians
Cathy Priestner Sylvia Burka Gayle Gordon Kathy Vogt Elizabeth Appleby Tom Overend Gatan Boucher Andrew Barron

Cathy Priestner winning Silver for Canada in the 500 m

Lake Placid, USA, 1980


Hosting the Olympic Winter Games for the second time

James B.Sheffield Olympic Skating Rink, 1931 Elevation: 568m Eric Heiden wins every distance for a total of 5 gold medals

Lake Placid, USA, 1980


Canadians
Sylvia Burka Brenda Webster Kathy Vogt Sylvie Daigle Patricia Durnin Gatan Boucher Jacques Thibault Craig Webster

For the second time in a row Canada wins an Olympic medal. Gatan Boucher wins silver in the 1000m after Eric Heiden.

Sarajewo, Yugoslavia, 1984

For the first time Japan wins a medal in the 500 m and has continued to do so ever since. The Dutch did not win any medals.

Zetra Ice Complex

Elevation: 567m

Sarajewo, Yugoslavia, 1984


Canadians
Gatan Boucher Jacques Thibault Benoit Lamarche Jean Pichette Daniel Turcotte Sylvie Daigle Natalie Grenier

In his third Olympics, Gatan Boucher dominates the mens competition by winning two gold and one bronze medal for Canada.

Calgary, Canada, 1988


First Olympic competition in a covered oval

Statistics
19 countries 119 participants

Medal Count
GDR 13 NED 7 USA 3 SWE 2 USSR 2 AUT 2 JPN 1

Olympic Oval Elevation:1034m The 5000 m for women was added to the competition. Yvonne van Gennip was the first winner of the distance. She won a total of three gold medals

Calgary, Canada, 1988

Canadians
Chantal Ct Kathy Gordon Natalie Grenier Marie Pierre Lamarche Ariane Loignon Caroline Maheux Shelley Rhead Gatan Boucher Gordon Goplen Gregor Jelonek Benoit Lamarche Jean Pichette Guy Thibault Marcel Tremblay Robert Tremblay Daniel Turcotte

Gatan Boucher in his fourth and final Olympic competition

Benoit Lamarche

Guy Thibault

Calgary, Canada, 1988


Short track was a demonstration sport

Albertville, France, 1992


Last Olympics on outdoor ice Cracks in the ice surface appeared frequently due to shifting sand holding the refrigeration system.

Stade de patinage Olympique Elevation: 335m

Albertville, France, 1992


Short track
Nathalie Lambert Annie Perreault Sylvie Daigle Angela Cutrone Frdric Blackburn Mark Lackie Michel Daignault Laurent Daignault Sylvain Gagnon

Long Track
Susan Auch Catriona Lemay Shelley RheadSkarvan Neal Marshall Robert Dubreuil Guy Thibault Sean Ireland Patrick Kelly Kevin Scott

Lillehammer, Norway, 1994

Johann Olav Koss won three gold medals in front of a home crowd Vikingskipet, Hamar Elevation 125m Bonnie Blair won her third consecutive Olympic Gold medal in the 500 m.

Lillehammer, Norway, 1994


Short Track Long Track
Sylvie Daigle Susan Auch Nathalie Lambert Catriona Lemay Isabelle Charest Ingrid Liepa Christine Boudrias Michelle Morton Marc Gagnon Linda Johnson Derrick Campbell Neal Marshall Frdric Blackburn Mike Hall Stephen Gough Sylvain Bouchard Pat Kelly Sean Ireland Mike Ireland Kevin Scott Patrick Bouchard

Nagano, Japan, 1998

Introduction of clap skates at the Olympic Winter Games. Aerodynamic strips on skin suits were allowed for the first time M-Wave Elevation: 342m

Nagano, Japan, 1998

Canadians
Susan Auch Catriona Lemay-Doan Ingrid Liepa Michelle Morton Linda Johnson-Blair Sylvie Cantin Isabella Doucet Cindy Overland Susan Massitti Jeremy Wotherspoon Kevin Overland Sylvain Bouchard Patrick Bouchard Steven Elm Kevin Marshall Neal Marshall Mark Knoll

Nagano, Japan, 1998

Canadians Short track


Isabelle Charest Annie Perreault Tania Vicent Christine Boudrias Marc Gagnon ric Bdard Franois Drolet Derrick Campbell

Salt Lake City, USA, 2002

Fastest Olympic ice. Nine out of ten world records were set at these Games.

Utah Olympic Oval, Kearns Elevation 1425 m

Salt Lake City, USA, 2002


Catriona LeMay Doan sucessfully defends her Olympic gold medal in the 500 m.

Canadians
Susan Auch Catriona Lemay-Doan Cindy Overland Cindy Klassen Kristina Groves Clara Hughes Jeremy Wotherspoon Patrick Bouchard ric Brisson Steven Elm Mike Ireland Kevin Marshall Mark Knoll Dustin Molicki Philippe Marois

Salt Lake City, USA, 2002


Canadians Short Track
Isabelle Charest Marie-Eve Drolet Amlie Goulet-Nadon Alanna Kraus Tania Vicent ric Bdard Marc Gagnon Jonathan Guilmette Franois-Louis Tremblay Mathieu Turcotte

Torino, Italy, 2006

Oval Lingotto Team Pursuit added to the competition

Canadians

Torino, Italy, 2006

Jeremy Wotherspoon Mike Ireland Vincent Labrie Brock Miron Denny Morrison Franois Olivier Roberge Steven Elm Arne Dankers Justin Warsylewicz Jason Parker Cindy Klassen Kristina Groves Clara Hughes Christine Nesbitt Shannon Rempel Krisy Myers Kerry Simpson Kim Weger

Torino, Italy, 2006


Alanna Kraus Anouk Leblanc-Boucher Kalyna Roberge Tania Vicent Amanda Overland Jonathan Guilmette ric Bdard Franois-Louis Tremblay Mathieu Turcotte Charles Hamelin

Vancouver, Canada 2010


LongTrack
Anastasia Bucsis Mathieu Giroux Jamie Gregg Kristina Groves Clara Hughes Mike Ireland Cindy Klassen Lucas Makowsky Denny Morrison Christine Nesbit Tamara Oudenaarden Kyle Parrott Shannon Rempel Franois-Olivier Roberge Brittany Schussler Jeremy Wotherspoon

Short Track
|Guillaume Bastille Jessica Gregg Charles Hamelin Franois Hamelin Olivier Jean Valrie Maltais Kalyna Roberge Marianne St-Gelais Franois-Louis Tremblay Tania Vicent