|Date||14 February 1994 — 14:00-15:00|
|Participants||40 from 16 countries|
|Olympic Record||36.45 WR / Uwe-Jens Mey GDR / 14 February 1988|
|Starter||Svein Inge Strugstad||NOR|
After three attempts to win an Olympic medal in the 500 m, it seemed that Dan Jansen finally had his best chance to do so. At the World Cup in Hamar, in December 1993, he had improved his own world record to 35.92, becoming the first man to go below 36 seconds. He nearly copied that race the next day, skating 35.96. In addition to a few more World Cup wins, he had won both 500 ms at the World Sprint Championships just weeks before the Olympics, winning the overall title as well. His previous rival, 1988 and 1992 champion Uwe-Jens Mey had retired, but he did face strong opposition from Japan and Russia. Of these, Sergey Klevchenya and Yasunori Miyabe had also won World Cup races, with the Russian finishing second at the World Sprint Championships.
With all favourites skating early in the program, Jansen was drawn in the inner lane of the second pair. This meant he had the final outer curve, considered an advantage. Still, he was unable to keep his speed, Jansen needed to correct and briefly touched the ice. He finished in 36.66, already the second time behind Liu Hongbo, and his Olympic dreams seemed over. This left chances for the others. Manabu Horii narrowly beat Liu’s leading time with 36.53. Then Klevchenya took the ice. He eliminated co-favorite Miyabe in a direct confrontation, also lowering the Olympic Record to 36.39. The only outsider left then was Klevchenya’s compatriot, Aleksandr Golubyov. Known for his quick starts, he departed in 9.58, the best opener of the field. Unlike his races at the World Sprints, Golubyov held on the pace and crossed the line a bit sooner than Klevchenya (36.33). The 1-2 by Golubyov and Klevchenya meant the first Olympic speed skating medals won by Russia as a separate nation.
|21||7O||Gerard van Velde||NED||37.45||10.13|
|29||19I||Alessandro De Taddei||ITA||37.87||10.26|
|31||19O||Nico van der Vlies||NED||37.94||10.31|