Wim van der Voort was the World’s top 1500 m skater in the early 1950s. He won this distance at the European Championships 1951-1953 and the World Championships 1951-1952, earning him overall silver medals at the Europeans (1951 and 1953) and a World bronze in 1953. His second place at the European Championships was remarkable, as champion Hjalmar Andersen had fallen in the final distance for his home crowd, but the Norwegian was allowed a controversial reskate, having allegedly been distracted by a photographer’s flash. At the 1952 Olympics, Van der Voort was the top favorite for the gold medal at 1,500 metres. He was again thwarted by Andersen, who won three golds on the Bislett ice. Skating after Andersen, Van der Voort was hampered by light snow and a sub-par final lap, finishing two tenths behind the Norwegian to take a silver medal. Van der Voort worked in horticulture for much of his life, retiring only in his 70s, while also remaining involved in skating as a youth coach.
Personal Bests: 500 – 43.6 (1951); 1500 – 2:14.9 (1953); 5000 – 8:20.1 (1953); 10000 – 17:28.8 (1949).