| Event type

1,500 metres, Men

Date13 February 1936 — 10:00
LocationOlympia-Eissportplatz am Rießersee, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Participants37 from 15 countries
Olympic Record 2:20.8 / Clas Thunberg FIN / 27 January 1924
StarterHans ValärSUI
StarterOskar OlsenNOR
RefereeGerrit van LaerNED
RefereeGerhard KarlsenNOR

With Ivar Ballangrud having won the 500 metres, he was considered to have a good shot at a clean sweep of the speed skating medals. Other skaters were not considered to have much of a chance, especially since Ballangrud had tied the legendary World Record of Oscar Mathisen, 2:17.4, at the World Championships in Davos (Switzerland). All other fast times of the season had also been posted by Norwegians: Harry Haraldsen, Charles Mathiesen and Hans Engnestangen.

Ballangrud was the first of the top skaters to ride, and his pair with Leo Freisinger (USA) was a great duel. The two skaters exchanged the lead a few times, with Ballangrud leading at the last turn. Freisinger was looking to close in with a final inner curve, but could not keep up, and the Norwegian posted 2:20.2. Another close pair followed, between Mathiesen and Max Stiepl of Austria. A silver medallist in the 1500 m at the European Championships, Mathiesen kept a high tempo, being trailed by Stiepl for the first two laps. He then took off, while keeping his 1 second lead on Ballangrud. His 2:19.2 was an excellent time, and a new Olympic Record - Ballangrud was beaten, the surprise of the day. Harry Haraldsen then seemed to be blazing towards a top position as well, but this was mostly caused by his poor opponent. He caught Belgian Charles de Ligne on the final straightaway, a very rare occurrence in an event of just under four laps. In fact, De Ligne is the worst speed skater in Olympic history. His times in the 500 m (with fall), 1500 m and 5000 m (disqualified) are the worst ever recorded at the Olympics, while the ice in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was of good quality. Only one skater has done worse than De Ligne, in the 10000 m. However, Buddy Solem (USA) had the misfortune of skating on a thawing rink at the 1948 Games.

The top four times were secure until the next to last pair, which included Birger Wasenius, winner of the silver medal the day before. He kept up with the pace of the leading Norwegian couple until 700 metres, but then had to yield. He was trailing Freisinger’s third position with a lap to go, but closed that gap to win his second medal of the Games.

14Charles MathiesenNOR2:19.2GoldOR
23Ivar BallangrudNOR2:20.2SilverOR
318Birger WaseniusFIN2:20.9Bronze
43Leo FreisingerUSA2:21.3
54Max StieplAUT2:21.6
617Karl WazulekAUT2:22.2
76Harry HaraldsenNOR2:22.4
811Hans EngnestangenNOR2:23.0
=97Ossi BlomqvistFIN2:23.2
=98Antero OjalaFIN2:23.2
=913Dolf van der ScheerNED2:23.2
=1218Karl LebanAUT2:24.3
=1212Eddie SchroederUSA2:24.3
149Jan LangedijkNED2:24.6
1516Kim Jeong-YeonJPN2:25.0
167Willi SandnerGER2:25.3
178Bob PetersenUSA2:25.4
1817Alfons BērziņšLAT2:25.8
195Shozo IshiharaJPN2:26.7
=209Lou DijkstraNED2:27.2
=2019Åke EkmanFIN2:27.2
2214Aleksander MittEST2:27.8
=2313Jānis AndriksonsLAT2:28.9
=2315Lee Seong-DeokJPN2:28.9
=2516László HidvéghyHUN2:29.0
=2514Ferdinand PreindlAUT2:29.0
272Heinz SamesGER2:29.3
2812Yasuo KawamuraJPN2:29.6
2915Axel JohanssonSWE2:29.9
3011Roelof KoopsNED2:30.0
311Jaromír TurnovskýTCH2:30.5
325Allan PottsUSA2:31.2
332Ken KennedyAUS2:31.8
341Tommy WhiteCAN2:34.2
3510Oldřich HančTCH2:57.8
3610James GraeffeBEL3:00.5
376Charles de LigneBEL3:21.9