Johann Olav Koss

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 5
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other • Administrator
Full nameJohann Olav•Koss
Used nameJohann Olav•Koss
Born29 October 1968 in Drammen (NOR)
Measurements189 cm / 77 kg
AffiliationsSkøyteklubben 94, Lørenskog
NOC Norway


Johann Olav Koss was the winner of the 1,500 metres, 5,000 metres, and 10,000 metres speed skating events at the 1994 Winter Games, setting an Olympic record in each event, capped by a world record of 13:30.55 in the 10,000 metres. He had earlier won Olympic gold in the 1,500 metres and silver in the 10,000 metres in 1992. In 1994, he donated the cash bonus from his first gold medal (approximately $30,000) to Olympic Aid for Sarajevo. He also auctioned off his speed skates, raising another $85,000 for the war victims in Sarajevo. Koss was world all-around champion in 1990, 1991, and 1994, and was also World Cup champion in the 1,500 metres in 1990-91 and at the distance events in 1991. Koss retired after the 1994 Olympic Winter Games and, like his predecessor, Eric Heiden, attended medical school (in Australia). However, he later become a leader of the IOC Athletes Commission, and spends much of his time promoting Olympic Aid for developing nations.

Personal Bests: 500 – 37.98 (1994); 1000 – 1:14.9 (1993); 1500 – 1:51.29 (1994); 5000 – 6:34.96 (1994); 10000 – 13:30.55 (1994).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) NOR Johann Olav Koss
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 7
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1994 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) NOR Johann Olav Koss
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Athlete International Olympic Committee 1999—2001 NOR Johann Olav Koss

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1994 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony NOR Johann Olav Koss

Special Notes