Speed Skating Hall of Fame

Bart Veldkamp

Born: November 22, 1967 - The Hague (NED)

In the early 1990s the Dutchman Bart Veldkamp was a specialist in long distances. He came very close to qualifying for the 10,000 meters at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Although he did not qualify he did travel to Canada. Not to cheer on his compatriots, but to participate in the first world championship marathon speed skating. He won and became the first world champion in this discipline.

Although a specialist in long distances, he was also succesfull in international allround championships. He won the 1990 European Championship and finished twice winning bronze at the World Championships Allround (1990 and 1991). At the 1992 Winter Olympics he qualified for the 5000 and 10,000 meters. He skated the 5000 meters in bad weather conditions while his opponents, who started in later pairs, skated under better circumstances. Veldkamp did not reach the podium and became 5th. Later he stated that the weather conditions diverted his attention from the race. Due to a lack of mental strength he simply could not focus. Six days later the conditions were much better: there was little wind and he started after his main opponents. Veldkamp ended first on the 10,000 meters and became the first Dutchman, after Piet Kleine in 1976, to win gold at the Winter Olympics. Two years later he won bronze on the same distance at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

Because Veldkamp was dissatisfied with the way of qualifying in the Netherlands for international competition he decided to skate on a Belgian licence. At the next Olympics he competed for Belgium and won bronze on the 5000 meters, which was the first Belgium Olympic medal at the Winter Games. He also won four medals at the World Championship Single Distances which was introduced in 1996.

In 2001 he made a remarkable comeback as allrounder. He nearly won the European Championship and became third at the World Championship Allround. Although he was not a real allrounder he participated at 15 European championships, which makes him record holder together with the Italian Roberto Sighel.

Veldkamp quited his active speed skating career at the biggest podium he could imagine. At the 2006 Winter Olympics he participated on the 10,000 meters. He finished 14th and after the race he got flowers from his dad, who was also his coach, and a big standing ovation from the public.

Machiel Smit, December 7, 2013

Career summary


Podia at championships

yearpositionchampionshipplace
19903 World Championship AllroundInnsbruckAUT
1 European Championship AllroundHeerenveenNED
19913 World Championship AllroundHeerenveenNED
3 European Championship AllroundSarajevoYUG
19921 Olympic Winter Games 10,000 metersAlbertvilleFRA
19943 Olympic Winter Games 10,000 metersLillehammerNOR
19962 World Championship Single Distances 10,000 metersHamarNOR
19983 Olympic Winter Games 5000 metersNaganoJPN
3 World Championship Single Distances 5000 metersCalgaryCAN
19992 World Championship Single Distances 5000 metersHeerenveenNED
20013 World Championship AllroundBudapestHUN
2 European Championship AllroundBaselga di PinèITA

World Records

#disciplinerecorddateplace
13000 meters3:48.91Mar 20, 1998CalgaryCAN

Personal Bests

distancetimedateplace
500m0:37.55Jan 15, 2000HamarNOR
1000m1:12.80Nov 20, 2005Salt Lake CityUSA
1500m1:50.90Feb 6, 2000MilwaukeeUSA
3000m3:47.56Feb 5, 2006TurinITA
5000m6:23.64Mar 2, 2001CalgaryCAN
10,000m13:27.48Feb 22, 2002Salt Lake CityUSA