| Event type

500 metres, Men

Date11 – 12 February 2002
LocationUtah Olympic Oval, Kearns, Utah
Participants38 from 15 countries
FormatTwo runs, total time determined placement.
Olympic Record 35.59 / Hiroyasu Shimizu JPN / 10 February 1998
Olympic Record (2 races)71.35 / Hiroyasu Shimizu JPN / 9 – 10 February 1998
StarterFranco CeschiITA
RefereeKnut LudahlNOR

Looking at the starting list, there were two major favorites for this event: Jeremy Wotherspoon and Hiroyasu Shimizu. Of the two, Wotherspoon had had the best season prior to the Games. He had won four World Cup races, and a few weeks before the Olympics, had won the World Sprint Championships, taking the first of two 500 m races in the process. Shimizu, had a better historical record, though. Apart from being the defending Olympic champion, he had won the 500 m World title in 1996 and 1998 to 2001, and was world record holder. Several other skaters could claim realistic hopes for the title as well, notably Casey FitzRandolph, Mike Ireland and Gerard van Velde.

The biggest surprise early in the first run was the performance of Kip Carpenter, a former short-track speed skater, who recorded his first 34-second 500 m at 34.68. That time would eventually hold up as the third fastest of the day. The first skater to beat it was Shimizu (34.61), who seemed disappointed not to approach his own world record. In the next pair, it was FitzRandolph who completed the first 100 m in 9.44, and sped to a new personal best, 34.44. In the remaining pairs, none matched that time. The biggest story, however, was not FitzRandolph, but Wotherspoon. Skating in the last pair, his Olympic dreams were over after a few meters as he tripped and fell. On the second day, Wotherspoon showed off his great form by winning the second run, but that did not help him.

Although differences were not too large, the results of day one would still stand at the conclusion of the competition. The final race was run between FitzRandolph and Carpenter. The leader opened considerably slower than in the first run, and it seemed he might lose his 0.19 advantage on Shimizu. While beaten by his compatriot, FitzRandolph’s 34.81 was just enough to keep the Japanese skater at bay by 0.03 seconds. Carpenter, in turn, also lost a bit on the closest contender for bronze - Van Velde - but kept a 0.02-second edge on the Dutchman. Despite having been a known 500 m skater for several years, the Olympic 500 m was FitzRandolphs first international victory in the event. His father Jeff was also acting at the Olympics, appearing as the starter in several events, although not those in which his son competed.

PosCompetitorNOCTimeRace #1Race #2
1Casey FitzRandolphUSA69.2334.42 (1)34.81 (=6)GoldOR
2Hiroyasu ShimizuJPN69.2634.61 (2)34.65 (2)SilverOR
3Kip CarpenterUSA69.4734.68 (3)34.79 (5)Bronze
4Gerard van VeldeNED69.4934.72 (4)34.77 (4)OR
5Lee Gyu-HyeokKOR69.5934.74 (5)34.85 (10)OR
6Joey CheekUSA69.6034.78 (7)34.82 (8)
7Mike IrelandCAN69.6034.77 (6)34.83 (9)
8Toyoki TakedaJPN69.8135.00 (=8)34.81 (=6)OR
9Jan BosNED69.8635.14 (12)34.72 (3)
10Erben WennemarsNED69.8935.00 (=8)34.89 (11)
11Dmitry LobkovRUS70.1035.09 (10)35.01 (14)OR
12Kuniomi HaneishiJPN70.1135.15 (13)34.96 (12)OR
13Sergey KlevchenyaRUS70.2835.10 (11)35.18 (19)
14Manabu HoriiJPN70.3235.30 (15)35.02 (15)
15Janne HänninenFIN70.3335.18 (14)35.15 (18)
16Paweł AbratkiewiczPOL70.4435.40 (16)35.04 (16)
17Choi Jae-BongKOR70.5735.45 (17)35.12 (17)OR
18Dmitry DorofeyevRUS70.7535.48 (19)35.27 (20)OR
19Michael KünzelGER70.8435.47 (18)35.37 (25)
20Pat BouchardCAN70.8835.54 (20)35.34 (22)
21Li YuCHN70.9735.62 (21)35.35 (=23)OR
22Tomasz ŚwistPOL71.2735.72 (23)35.55 (26)
23Davide CartaITA71.3935.70 (22)35.69 (29)
24Éric BrissonCAN71.5435.86 (24)35.68 (28)
25Park Jae-ManKOR71.9636.05 (25)35.91 (31)
26Christian BreuerGER72.0736.50 (31)35.57 (27)
27Ids PostmaNED72.4936.41 (29)36.08 (32)
28Marc PelchatUSA72.5837.59 (34)34.99 (13)
29Andriy FominUKR72.6436.26 (27)36.38 (34)
30Dino GillarduzziITA72.6936.42 (30)36.27 (33)
31Zsolt BalóHUN72.9336.24 (26)36.69 (35)
32Aliaksei KhatylevBLR74.8137.40 (33)37.41 (36)
33Kim Cheol-SuKOR108.461:13.11 (35)35.35 (=23)
34Yu FengtongCHN117.411:22.11 (36)35.30 (21)
35Grunde NjøsNOR133.571:37.67 (37)35.90 (30)
DNFErmanno IoriattiITA36.30 (28)– (DNS)
DNFJan FriesingerGER36.80 (32)– (DNS)
DNFJeremy WotherspoonCAN– (DNF)34.63 (1)