World Championships in speed skating – 18-year-old American Stolz has gone down in history
American teenager Jordan Stolz made history in the speed skating world championships by winning gold medals in three distances as the first in history. In the Dutch Heerenveen, the 18-year-old triumphed at 500, 1000 and 1500 meters.
So far, only two German speed skaters have succeeded in this feat – Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann (1997) and Anni Friesinger (2003).
Stolz, who made his international debut a year ago in the Beijing Olympics, also became the youngest gold medalist of the World Championships in distance since 1996, taking into account both sexes. He improved by several months the achievement of the famous Martina Sablikova, who won her first gold in 2007 as a 19-year-old.
He is connected with the Czech not only by historical achievements, but also by the beginning of his career. He began training in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, on a backyard pond. Sablikova also took her first steps at the fish ponds in her hometown of Nové Mesto in Moravia. An outstanding speed skater, three-time Olympic champion and 16-time world champion, she won two bronze medals from Heerenveen – at 3000 and 5000 m. She did it at the age of 35.
“I felt really good this weekend, better than all year. I reached the maximum and the highest form in the season. After a lot of hard training, I came here and… just rested for 10 days. These were the best technical races in my career, especially at 500 and 1000 m, said the champion in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. (PAP)