The son of speed skating coach Klaas Schenk, Ard Schenk became one of the all-time speed skating greats. Together with compatriot Kees Verkerk, Schenk dominated the sport in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He won the World Championships from 1970-1972, and the European Championships in 1966, 1970 and 1972. He also won two bronze medals at the World Sprint Championships, on account of his 1000 m. After winning an Olympic silver medal in the 1968 Games behind Verkerk, he won three gold medals at the Sapporo Games, emulating the performance of Hjalmar Andersen twenty years earlier. Schenk set 18 World Records, becoming the first man to break 2 minutes over 1500 m and the first to beat 15 minutes in the 10,000 m. By 1971, he held all World Records save the 500 m. In addition to his titles, Ard Schenk won the Oscar Mathisen Trophy (for the best speed skating performance of the season) three times, and was named Dutch athlete of the year four times. Following his triple gold in Japan, Schenk joined a newly formed professional skating circuit. While Schenk won both 1973 titles, the venture failed, and folded in 1974. A physical therapist, Schenk later became a member of the International Skating Union’s technical committee, and was the chef de mission of the Dutch Olympic team at the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics.
Personal Bests: 500 – 38.9 (1971); 1000 – 1:18.8 (1971); 1500 – 1:58.7 (1971); 5000 – 7:09.8 (1972); 10000 – 14:55.9 (1971).