| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date21 February 1988 — 12:00
LocationOlympic Oval, Calgary
Participants32 from 19 countries
Olympic Record 14:28.13 WR / Eric Heiden USA / 23 February 1980

As in the 5,000 m, Norway’s Geir Karlstad had improved the world record in this distance at the World Cup race held on Olympic ice in December 1987. But Karlstad’s recent results had been less impressive, and he had only managed a seventh spot in the 5,000 m. Gustafson, who had won the 10,000 m at the European Championships, had won the 5,000 m and was also the runner-up from Sarajevo 1984, when he had missed the gold medal by just 0.05.

First medal contender to hit the ice was Gerard Kemkers, bronze medalist in the 5,000 m. In lap five, he fell - unusual for a 10,000 m. Despite a quick recovery, he lost about 10 seconds. While that was still enough to beat the Olympic Record at that point, the fall almost certainly cost him a medal. The first to beat Kemkers’ time was his compatriot, Leo Visser. The silver medalist in the 5,000 m, he had beaten 14 minutes a month earlier at the Dutch distance championships. This time, Visser ended at 14:00.55, which seemed insufficient for the title. This was soon proven by Austrian skater Michael Hadschieff. He had earlier medalled in the 1,500 m, and stood out in Calgary for having a red extension of his suit cap over his eyes. This was to protect his contact lenses from the dry Calgary air. Less visible was a plastic board he wore under his suit to improve aerodynamic profile. This apparently worked, as Hadschieff, who had earlier lost the 1988 European Championship bronze because of a poor 10,000 m, now skated a new personal best of 13:56.11 to take the lead. With Geir Karlstad falling out of contention after 7km, this left only Gustafson to beat Hadschieff. But the Swede was clearly faster, eventually winning by 8 seconds, the largest victory margin of his three Olympic titles. It was long uncertain if he would also be able to beat Karlstad’s world record. In the end, he managed it by three tenths.

Another remarkable competitor was Yoshiyuki Shimizu of Japan. While he finished only 28th out of 32 competitors, he did impress onlookers by re-tying the laces of one of his skates, while continuing to race.

19OTomas GustafsonSWE13:48.20WRGold
25IMichael HadschieffAUT13:56.11ORSilver
34ILeo VisserNED14:00.55ORBronze
410OEric FlaimUSA14:05.57
52OGerard KemkersNED14:08.34ORfall
61OYury KlyuyevURS14:09.68OR
716IRoberto SighelITA14:13.60
89IRoland FreierGDR14:19.16
96OSergey BerezinURS14:20.48
103OBen LamarcheCAN14:21.39
115OHerbert DijkstraNED14:22.53
1211IJoakim KarlbergSWE14:22.94
1314OBruno MilesiITA14:23.84
147IDave SilkUSA14:25.56
157OPertti NiittyläFIN14:26.57
1615IJiří KynclTCH14:27.32
1712ITimo JärvinenFIN14:27.69
182IAleksandr MozinURS14:28.91
193IChristian EmingerAUT14:30.21
2014IGordon GoplenCAN14:31.18
214OFrode SyvertsenNOR14:32.08
2213OKim Gwan-GyuKOR14:34.65
2311OHans van HeldenFRA14:34.84
248OToru AoyanagiJPN14:34.87
2510IJeff KlaiberUSA14:38.60
2616OColin CoatesAUS14:41.88
271IHansjörg BaltesFRG14:45.41
288IYoshiyuki ShimizuJPN14:47.21
2913ILu ShuhaiCHN14:49.52
3015OJulian GreenGBR14:59.53
AC6IGeir KarlstadNORDNF
AC12OSong Yong-HunPRK14:33.41DQ