| Event type

10,000 metres, Men1

Date14 February 1928 — 11:30-13:05
LocationOlympia-Eisstadion Badrutts Park, St. Moritz
Participants10 from 6 countries
Olympic Record 18:04.8 / Julius Skutnabb FIN / 27 January 1924
StarterHermann KleebergGER
RefereeHenning OlsenNOR

The 10000 m started with perhaps the best race of the tournament, but ended in an anti-climax. Norwegian Bernt Evensen, who had won Olympic medals of each colour already, competed against Irving Jaffee (USA), who had just missed the podium in the 5000 m. The Norwegian led from the start, but Jaffee never trailed by more than three seconds. In the final laps, the American slowly crept closer. With 100 m to go, he was still behind, but with an excellent sprint, he nudged his skate over the finish line first. This was a major upset.

The times of Evensen and Jaffee already indicated the ice conditions were poor, and they were getting worse by the minute. Thaw had set in due to the Swiss Föhn-wind, and puddles of water were forming on the ice by the second race. The third pair saw co-favorite Roald Larsen forfeit when his split times were half a minute behind the leaders. Armand Carlsen, the Norwegian who had bettered the World Record nine days ago (17:17.4) did complete his race, but his time of 20:56.1 was much slower than all others. A clear indicator of the situation was that Carlsen was half a minute slower than Lithuanian Bulota, whom he had beaten by over two minutes in his World Record race. The fifth pair between Andersson of Sweden and Blomqvist of Finland did get underway, but when lap times went over 50 seconds, the referee ended competition. With temperatures having reached 25ºC, there was no chance of the race being resumed the same day. The race results were annulled.

The Americans (and Canadians) protested against this, pointing to poor weather circumstances during the 500 and 5000 m races the previous day. They would accept a postponement but not cancellation. The Swiss organizers then briefly announced Jaffee as the champion, although this message was accompanied by the ambiguous note that “another competition should be held before the close of the Winter sports program”. Their decision was overturned by the International Skating Union, who had the final say in the matter. The American protest was disallowed on grounds that they had submitted it too late, and the race remained cancelled. Briefly, there was hope for a re-run, but when the weather remained warm, most of the competitors left Switzerland, leaving the 10000 m without a winner. Jaffee was somewhat satisfied being congratulated by the Norwegians competitors, who had come to his hotel. He would have his revenge in four years.

Some observers pointed to the Sankt Moritz hotels as the main culprit for the cancellation of the 10000 m. Not wanting to damage their business, they had pressed for the Games to be held late in the season, risking higher temperatures. However, weather records showed that the Föhn had never set in this early in winter.

AC1Irving JaffeeUSA18:36.5
AC1Bernt EvensenNOR18:36.6
AC3Otto PolacsekAUT20:00.9
AC2Rudolf RiedlAUT20:21.5
AC2Kęstutis BulotaLTU20:22.2
AC4Armand CarlsenNOR20:56.1
AC4Valentine BialasUSA21:05.4
AC5Gustaf AnderssonSWEDNF2
AC5Ossi BlomqvistFINDNF
AC3Roald LarsenNORDNF