The 5000 m got underway after the conclusion of the 500 meter. Two heats of 9 skaters were drawn, the four best in each qualifying for the final. Both heats were boring affairs, skated at a slow pace, resulting in times of 9.51.6 and 10.01.4. All medal candidates qualified, except for Ossi Blomqvist of Finland, who placed 5th in the first race, which saw Alex Hurd (CAN), Shozo Ishihara (JPN), and Tomeju Uruma (JPN) fall.
The final, too, got off slowly, none of the skaters wanting to take the lead. This resulted in a scene similar to a team pursuit, with the leading skater swerving to the side at each turn. Only in lap 9 the skaters began to pick up the pace, but the eight kept together. With a lap and a half to go, the pack was lead by Eddie Murphy of the United States, ahead of Harry Smyth, Frank Stack, and Ivar Ballangrud. As they swung wide, fifth skater Irving Jaffee jumped away into the gap. Bernt Evensen followed him, but was then elbowed by Smyth. Evensen nearly fell, thereby obstructing his teammate Ballangrud. With both Norwegians off course, only Murphy managed to cling on to Jaffee. He remained in Jaffee’s tracks until the latter finally pulled away 10 yards before the finish. With Smyth awaiting a likely Norwegian protest, the Canadians filed a protest against Eddie Murphy, who supposedly had pushed Smyth, causing him to obstruct Ballangrud and Evensen. American referee Joseph K. Savage did not uphold the protest, and Jaffee was presented with the gold medal, Murphy taking silver and Willy Logan the bronze.
After four years, Irving Jaffee finally took revenge for the 1928 Olympics. A son of Russian immigrants, the New York skater contested his only international event in Sankt Moritz. After a 4th in the 5000 m, he was leading the 10000 m before it was annulled due to thawing ice conditions. Jaffee would not enjoy his gold medals for long, having to pawn them a few years later. The pawn shop itself went out of business, and the prizes were never recovered.