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Jordan Stolz Wins Oscar Mathisen Trophy Second Year in a Row

US speed skater Jordan Stolz wins the Oscar Award of Speed Skating for the season 2023/24 for his impressing victory in a new World record in points over four distances at the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships in the Inzell, Germany, March 9-10, 2024.


Jordan Stolz, 19 years old during the event, wins the Oscar Trophy for the second year in a row. Last season, he was given the trophy for his victories in speed skating’s three shortest distances at the World Speed Skating Championships in Calgary, Canada. This year’s award includes performances in the two longest Olympic distances of the sport, in an allround competition where the results from 500m, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m count together. This is speed skating’s most classic competition format, with a history of more than 130 years since the first official World Speed Skating Championships in 1893.


At the moment Jordan Stolz entered Inzell’s Max Aicher Arena, he had never raced a classic allround competition including the 10000 meter race. He had a personal best of 13:17.54 on this distance – more than 42 seconds slower than the personal best of co-favourite for the World Champion title, Patrick Roest of the Netherlands, who had won three Golds and two Silver medals in the most recent editions of these World Championships.


Stolz opened the championships by setting a new track record on the 500m, with a time of 34.10 seconds. Roest captured a fourth place with 36.06. Judged by the time differences between the two skaters in previous 5000m World Cup races this season, the Dutchman still had a fair possibility of cutting a major part of the American’s advantage of 19.6 seconds (1.96 500-meter-seconds x 10) through a strong 5000m race.


Instead, the 5000m race turned out to be the key distance in Jordan Stolz’ favor at these championships. He started in the sixth pair with Canadian Jake Weidemann. The personal best times of the two were in favor of Stolz by only five seconds – but when their race finished, Jordan was almost 20 seconds ahead. Following an improvement of his personal best time by six seconds to 6:14.76, Stolz gained the lead on the distance.


A tight grip on the World Champion title

This great effort meant that Patrick Roest, skating in the 11th pair – even with an equaling of the current World record of 6:01.56 – would still lag significantly behind Jordan Stolz after two distances. As the Dutchman was beaten by his pair mate Davide Ghiotto of Italy, who set a new track record of 6:06.55, it was obvious that Jordan with his seventh place on the distance had already placed a firm hand on the laurel wreath to be placed over the shoulders of the winner.


Starting Sunday with a new track record on the 1500m with a time of 1:41.78, Jordan Stolz tightened his grip on the title. In a man-to-man duel in the 12th and last pair on this distance, Patrick Roest gained the second-best time. However, he crossed the finish line more than one-and-a-half seconds after the American.


Jordan Stolz had a lead of 33.38 seconds as the two rivals were about to enter another duel in the fourth pair of the final distance, the grueling 10000m. In view of the difference of more than 42 seconds in their personal best times on the distance, there was still a theoretical possibility of a World Championship victory for Patrick Roest. The 5000m results the day before, however, gave no reason for any Dutch optimism.


During the course of their 10k duel, it soon became clear that Jordan Stolz was this weekend’s great champion. With 13 of the 25 laps to go, Roest hadn’t gained more than seven seconds on Stolz. At the finish line, the Dutchman was 13 seconds ahead of Stolz, who captured a sixth place in 13:04.76 with an improvement of his personal best time of almost 13 seconds.


Davide Ghiotto had already set a new track record with 12:40.61, while Roest captured the second place with 12:51.81. Both Ghiotto and Stolz clocked two track records each at one of the most prominent Speed Skating venues, while Stolz set new World championship record on both the 500m and the 1500m.


Two World Records

The American’s four-distance-series gave a huge improvement of the allround World Record – 75 years after Norwegian skater Sverre Farstad set the history’s first allround World Record in Davos 1949. Jordan Stolz noted a point sum of 144.740 and beat Patrick Roest’s old record by 0.8 time points.


The allround World Record was the young American skater’s second World Record during the past season. At the World Cup competitions in Salt Lake City, US, on Friday, January 26, he won the 1000m race in 1:05.37, beating Russian Pavel Kulishnikov’s four-year-old record from the same track by 0.32 seconds. Stolz not only beat the World Record – he won the race with an unheard-of margin of 1.6 seconds.


Between the World Cup event in Salt Lake City and the World Championships Allround in Inzell, Jordan Stolz gave another outstanding achievement. During the World Championships Single Distances in Calgary, Canada, February 15 to 19, Stolz copied his unique performance of the previous season, winning the gold medals in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m races, breaking the track records on the two shortest distances.


Triggered by Apolo Ohno and Shani Davis

Jordan Stolz was born on May 21, 2004, in West Bend, Wisconsin. He was only five years old when he watched the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, on television. A story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in August 2021 describes how Jordan was motivated to try skating after being excited from watching how fast the speed skaters travelled on the ice. Stolz’s father, Dirk, asked his children if they wanted to try ice skating. Soon, Jordan and his elder sister, Hannah, were in full activity on a skating field that their father had prepared in the backyard pond of the family house of small town Kewaskum, Later, Dirk installed outdoor lighting at the pond so that the children could skate at all hours.


Jordan credited Apolo Anton Ohno and Shani Davis at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver as inspiration to take up skating. After having started with short track training, he moved toward the long track and began winning national championships when he was in fifth grade.


He joined the Badger Speed Skating Club, and then the West Allis Speed Skating Club, which became the Wisconsin Speed Skating Club at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, with its two ice rinks and a 400m speed skating track.


A coach from Oscar Mathisen’s old club

As the center was a 90-minute round trip commute from his home in Kewaskum, speed skating became a family sport and commitment. In Milwaukee, Jordan was surrounded by highly qualified coaches. Among these coaches were Shani Davis – a two-time winner of the Oscar Mathisen Award. For some years now, veteran skater and coach Bob Corby has been Jordan Stolz’s personal coach in a group of skaters.


During his years as a speed skater, Bob Corby in the early 1970s lived in Oslo, Norway, and competed as a member of  Oslo Skøiteklub (Oslo Skating Club) – Oscar Mathisen’s old club, which has presented the Oscar Award of Speed Skating since it was first initiated in 1959.


Still at the age of 15, Stolz made his international junior debut at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland, gaining fifth place in the 500m race and 21st place in the 1500m race. One month later, he represented the US at the World Junior Championships in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, placing 28th in the 500m and 1000m races.


Stolz made his international senior debut in December 2021 at the World Cup competitions in Salt Lake City, winning the “B division” 500m race, and placing second in the “B division” 1000m race.


During the Olympic Trials at his home arena, Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, he improved track records in the 500 m and 1000m events – both previously held by Shani Davis since 2005. During the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, he finished 13th in the 500m and 14th in the 1000m. At the age of 17, he was the third-youngest American male to compete in the Olympics in long track speed skating.


For the 2022/23 season, Jordan Stolz won the Oscar Trophy for his impressive three victories on the 500m, 1000m and 1500m, beating Dutch favourites at the World Championships in Heerenveen.


At the age of 18, he took his first World Cup victory in the first event of the season, held in November 2022 in Stavanger, Norway. On this occasion, he won both the 1000m and 1500m races.


Three weeks prior to his unique “hat trick” at the 2023 ISU World Championships in Calgary, the American gained the gold medals on his three favorite distances at the World Junior Championships in Inzell, as well as the gold medal overall.


Eleventh Oscar Trophy for the US skaters

Jordan Stolz is the sixth winner representing the United States in the 66-year-long history of the Oscar Mathisen Award. In total, the trophy has been awarded to American skaters eleven times, as Eric Heiden won it four times in a row 1977-1980, and Shani Davis twice, in 2005 and 2009. Bonnie Blair of the US was the first female skater to win the Oscar Trophy, in 1992, while Chad Hedrick won in 2004 and Brittany Bowe in 2015.


The “Speed Skating Oscar” Trophy was established in 1958 on the occation of the 70th Anniversary of Norwegian speed skating legend Oscar Mathisen (1888-1954). The trophy is a miniature of a statue of Mathisen, created by the Norwegian sculptor Arne Durban. The statue itself stands outside Frogner Stadion in Oslo, the venue of many of Oscar Mathisen’s most memorable victories.


The members of the Oscar Mathisen Award Committee for 2023/24 are Laila Andresen, Tron Espeli, Hasse Farstad, Arild Gjerde and Ådne Søndrål.