Speed Skating

Hall of Fame

Born: September 16, 1944 - Anna Paulowna (NED)

Ard Schenk was the best speed skater of the world in the period 1970-1972. He finished his amateur career by winning 3 Olympic titles, the World and the European title 1972. In addition he was third in the World Championships Sprint - winning 1000 meters both days. He lost the opportunity to be the first to win 4 Olympic titles when he fell in the start of his 500 meters. He won all 4 distances during the World Championships this year, the first to do this since Ivar Ballangrud 40 years earlier. By the end of this season all his personal bests, except 500 meters, were World Records.

He made his international debut during the Olympic Games 1964. The following year he placed 3rd in the World championships and in 1966 he won the European title. In 1968 he won his first Olympic medal when he tied with Ivar Eriksen for the 1500 meters silver medal. From 1970 to 1972 he won all the allround titles, except the European title 1971 which was won by Dag Fornæss. He had 22 single distance wins in these tournaments and 38 podium positions.

He turned professional in 1973 and 1974, and he was the best allround speed skater the first year, winning both the World and the European title. He was 3 times Dutch champion.

He set a record amount of 18 World Records during his career, and he broke several barriers. He was the first to break the 2 minutes barrier on 1500 meters, break the 15 minutes barrier on 10000 meters and was the first to set a semalog total below 170 points on the allround combination.

After his active career he has had a career as a speed skating official, as a member of the Technical Comittee Speed Skating of ISU.

He was awarded the Oscar Mathisen Trophy 3 times, in 1970, 71 and 72.

Bjarte Hetland, December 7, 2013

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