|Date||15 February 1992 — 14:30|
|Location||Anneau de Vitesse, Albertville|
|Participants||43 from 17 countries|
|Olympic Record||36.45 WR / Uwe-Jens Mey GDR / 14 February 1988|
|Starter||Remigi von Büren||SUI|
The Olympic 500 m was to be a duel between Uwe-Jens Mey (Germany) and Dan Jansen (United States). Both skaters had already played a feature role in the 1988 edition. Mey had won the title in Calgary, while Jansen had fallen, distracted by his sister’s death earlier on the day of the race. In the 1992 season, the two had fought out fascinating duels. In the six 500 m World Cup races held before the Olympics, they had finished first and second on all occasions, once even tying for first. Of the remaining races, Mey had won three and Jansen two. In addition, both had bettered the world record during the season. First, Mey had finally bettered his 1988 Olympic time at Davos, only to see it taken away by Jansen a week later, who lowered the mark to 36.41. Behind these two contenders, the Japanese had been most consistently in front, notably Toshiyuki Kuroiwa and Yasunori Miyabe.
Weather conditions were not good, with rain and flaky winds disturbing the competition. The soft ice was also not in favor of heavier skaters, like Jansen or World Sprint Champion Igor Zhelezovsky. Jansen was the first of the favorites to go. With a flaky final curve, he clocked 37.46, just 0.01 below the rink record. It was soon clear this was not good enough for the gold, as Junich Inoue, a completely unknown Japanese skater, beat the time by 2 tenths in the very next pair. Miyabe and Mey then faced eather in pair four. Mey got off to a 9.78 start, well ahead of Miyabe and Inoue’s split. This opener proved decisive, and Mey finished first in 37.14. That time was only to be approached by Kuroiwa, who had a better full lap, but came out 0.04 second short.
|=5||11O||Gerard van Velde||NED||37.49||9.96|
|DNS||22I||Alessandro De Taddei||ITA||–||–|