American Jordan Stolz became the youngest man to win an individual World Cup speed skating race in history, according to Speedskatingstats.com, in a statement blowout victory to open the season.
Stolz, 18, won the 1500m in Stavanger, Norway, in 1 minute, 44.891 seconds, a track record. He distanced runner-up Connor Howe of Canada by 1.76 seconds and said minutes later that he was a little bit flabbergasted.
Stolz broke German Peter Adeberg‘s record from 1986 as the youngest man to win an individual World Cup race. The only younger woman to win was two-time Olympic 500m champion Lee Sang-Hwa of South Korea, according to Speedskatingstats.com.
“It was crazy,” Stolz told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I didn’t know how anything was going to be. I had no expectations going into the race.”
Stolz’s victory margin was greater than what separated second-place Howe from the 16th-place skater, Dutchman Thomas Krol, who took Olympic 1000m gold and 1500m silver in February.
Last season, Stolz broke the junior world records in the 500m and 1000m and became the third-youngest U.S. Olympic male speed skater in history. He finished 13th in the 500m and 14th in the 1000m at the Olympics. He did not race the 1500m at Olympic Trials.
The Stavanger World Cup holds a men’s 500m on Saturday and a men’s 1000m on Sunday, among other races live on Peacock. Stolz said he will also race the 5000m later on Saturday if he’s placed in the early half of the 500m schedule for lower-ranked skaters.
Few skaters range from the 500m, the shortest sprint, through the 5000m, the second-longest men’s distance. Stolz was asked what distances he plans to race at March’s world championships and responded with a smile.
“All of them,” he said, though he then clarified he might not do the 10,000m.
That still conjures Eric Heiden, who famously swept all five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics — the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.
“I always think about him,” Stolz, a Wisconsin native like Heiden, told NOS on Friday. “What he did was pretty much near impossible, so I wouldn’t compare it at all.”
Stolz was inspired to speed skate by watching Apolo Ohno in short track at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Stolz’s dad then shoveled off space to skate on the pond behind the family house north of Milwaukee.
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Watch this guy. Jordan Stolz. 18 jaar. Net zijn eerste WB-zege 1.500m met bijna twee seconden voorsprong. Wat hem betreft rijdt hij alle afstanden van 500 tm 5km. Net als z’n voorbeeld: Eric Heiden. ‘What he did was so special.’ #schaatsen pic.twitter.com/qZa34S8QW8
— Robbert de Rijk (@robbertderijk) November 11, 2022