Henry Wahl

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameHenry•Wahl
Used nameHenry•Wahl
Born9 March 1915 in Odda (NOR)
Died13 October 1984 in Trondheim (NOR)
AffiliationsSportsklubben Falken, Trondheim (NOR)
NOC Norway

Biography

Henry Wahl skated for the Worker’s Sports Associations during the 1930s, and won seven distance championships gold medals in the Norwegian Championships for the Worker’s Skating Association. In 1936, he placed fourth at the European Worker’s Championships in Bislet, Oslo. Before the outbreak of World War II, he had PB’s of 45.2, 2:24.7, 8:38.7, and 18:12.8 over the four classical distances. After the war the two associations were united, and Wahl became a member of Sportsklubben Falken in Trondheim. Together with Hjalmar Andersen and Sverre Farstad, Wahl became a member of the famous “Falken-trio”, a dominating force in Norwegian speed skating in the early pre-war years under the leadership of famed coach Karl Brechan.

In 1947, Henry Wahl, then almost 32, became Norwegian champion after a close battle with Odd Lundberg. Wahl also won a medal at the 1950 Norwegian Championships, finishing second. He also medaled twice in ISU Championships, winning bronze at both the 1948 Worlds and 1951 European Championships. In 1948 he was selected for the Olympic team in the 10K after finishing second at the distance in the Norwegian Championship. At St. Moritz, he fell victim of the altitude and bad ice conditions, and gave up after the halfway point. In 1952, almost 37-years-old, he made another try for the Olympics, but finished only ninth at 10K in the famous match Norway against the rest of the world and he was not selected. Wahl ended his skating career after the 1952 season.

Wahl became famous for his long strides, using only 8-9 on the straights. Often the audience counted the strokes loudly to encourage him. In his youth he worked as a sailor at local coast, but later he became a shop salesman. Wahl died in Trondheim at age 69.

Personal Bests: 500 – 45.2 (1936); 1500 – 2:21.7 (1951); 5000 – 8:26.8 (1951); 10000 – 17:34.9 (1950).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) NOR Henry Wahl
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNF

Special Notes