Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

Leaving Davos

A hundred years ago today, the Adelskalender and the distance statistics had been turned upside down. Before the championship, the Adelskalender was:

1.Peder Østlund 45,2-2.22,6-8.51,8-17.50,6-199,443 2.Jaap Eden 48,2-2.25,4-8.37,6-17.56,0-202,227 3.Johan Schwartz 46,6-2.26,0-8.51,2-18.09,4-202,857 4.Rudolf Gundersen 44,8-2.26,6-8.54,0-18.41,0-203,117 5.Mauritz Öholm 44,8-2.30,2-9.01,2-18.24,0-204,187 6.Julius Seyler 46,2-2.28,6-9.04,6-18.35,0-205,943 7.Franz F Wathén 46,2-2.30,8-8.58,0-18.44,0-206,467 8.Oscar Mathisen 47,2-2.29,4-8.59,0-18.43,4-207,070 9.Peter Sinnerud 46,2-2.28,8-9.07,8-18.50,0-207,080 10.Thomas Bohrer 47.2-2.32,2-9.02,6-18.29,8-207,683 11.Oluf Steen 47,0-2.31,2-9.00,8-18.47,4-207,850 12.Sigurd Mathisen 46,0-2.34,4-9.14,8-18.35,2-208,707 13.Martin Sæterhaug 46,2-2.30,6-9.15,6-18.59,8-208,950 14.Gunnar Strömstén 46,8-2.30,8-9.08,2-19.09,4-209,357 15.Gustaf Estlander 47,6-2.29,8-9.15,0-18.55,8-209,823 16.Franz Schilling 47,8-2.31,6-9.17,6-18.44,0-210,293 17.C C de Koning 48,4-2.32,6-9.16,8-18.50,2-211,457 18.Jan C Greve 49,0-2.36,6-9.01,8-18.46,4-211,700 19.Filip Petersen 49,8-2.33,0-9.00,6-19.05,4-212,130 20.Edvard Engelsaas 47,4-2.30,2-9.02,8-20.09,4-212,217 21.Antti Wiklund 48,2-2.32,8-9.14,2-19.22,4-212,673 22.Jan T Banning 47,8-2.32,4-9.11,6-19.45,2-213,020 23.Alfred Næss 46,8-2.35,0-9.29,8-19.17,0-213,297 24.Oskar Fredriksen 47,4-2.31,8-9.04,2-20.21,4-213,490 25.Waldemar Ylander 48,2-2.36,2-9.18,2-19.18,0-213,987 26.Karinius Larsen-Stai 49,8-2.37,6-9.13,2-18.50,0-214,153 27.Jussi Wiinikainen 49,4-2.37,4-9.08,6-19.09,4-214,197 28.Rudolf Røhne 47,0-2.34,2-9.30,0-19.47,0-214,750 29.Eino Vanhala 48,4-2.34,6-9.16,6-19.43,6-214,773 30.Alf Horne 47,8-2.34,2-9.38,2-19.23,4-215,190

And afterwards it looked like this:

1.Peder Østlund 45,2-2.22,6-8.51,8-17.50,6-199,443 2.Oscar Mathisen 45,8-2.20,8-8.55,4-18.01,8-200,363 3.Mauritz Öholm 44,8-2.23,6-9.01,2-18.24,0-201,987 4.Jaap Eden 48,2-2.25,4-8.37,6-17.56,0-202,227 5.Johan Schwartz 46,6-2.26,0-8.51,2-18.09,4-202,857 6.Rudolf Gundersen 44,8-2.26,6-8.54,0-18.41,0-203,117 7.Gunnar Strömstén 46,8-2.25,4-9.01,6-18.04,0-203,627 8.Martin Sæterhaug 46,2-2.23,4-9.04,6-18.28,6-203,890 9.Sigurd Mathisen 44,4-2.26,2-9.14,8-18.35,2-204,333 10.Thomas Bohrer 46.2-2.27,6-9.02,6-18.21,2-204,720 11.Antti Wiklund 47,4-2.24,2-9.01,4-18.24,0-204,807 12.Franz F Wathén 46,2-2.27,8-8.58,0-18.44,0-205,467 13.Julius Seyler 46,2-2.28,6-9.04,6-18.35,0-205,943 14.Arne Schrey 46,4-2.24,4-9.07,6-18.55,2-206,053 15.Peter Sinnerud 46,2-2.28,8-9.07,8-18.50,0-207,080 16.Oluf Steen 47,0-2.31,2-9.00,8-18.47,4-207,850 17.Johan Vikander 44,4-2.23,4-9.20,6-20.19,8-209,250 18.Gustaf Estlander 47,6-2.29,8-9.15,0-18.55,8-209,823 19.Franz Schilling 47,8-2.31,6-9.17,6-18.44,0-210,293 20.C C de Koning 48,4-2.32,6-9.16,8-18.50,2-211,457 21.Jan C Greve 49,0-2.36,6-9.01,8-18.46,4-211,700 22.Filip Petersen 49,8-2.33,0-9.00,6-19.05,4-212,130 23.Edvard Engelsaas 47,4-2.30,2-9.02,8-20.09,4-212,217 24.Jan T Banning 47,8-2.32,4-9.11,6-19.45,2-213,020 25.Alfred Næss 46,8-2.35,0-9.29,8-19.17,0-213,297 26.Oskar Fredriksen 47,4-2.31,8-9.04,2-20.21,4-213,490 27.Waldemar Ylander 48,2-2.36,2-9.18,2-19.18,0-213,987 28.Karinius Larsen-Stai 49,8-2.37,6-9.13,2-18.50,0-214,153 29.Jussi Wiinikainen 49,4-2.37,4-9.08,6-19.09,4-214,197 30.Jean Pettersson 48,4-2.29,8-9.53,0-18.53,0-214,283

(Any additions and/or corrections/deletions welcome.)

World Champion and Adelskalender runner-up Oscar Mathisen and his teammates had some misgivings as they were preparing to leave the day after the championship. Reason: They had heard the other skaters planning for all the championship participants to leave by the same train. The thing that made this so embarrassing was the fact that every one of the other skaters were provided with 2nd class tickets, while the Norwegians with their third class ones by force were to travel in carriages only marginally superior to cattle cars. Oscar claims that they weren’t embarrassed so much from their own poverty, which is common to so many, but rather from their nation’s inability to transport her representatives in the same fashion as others. It was particularly the incensing contrast between the manner of travel of the Swedish and the Norwegian representatives that inspired them to hatch out the scheme.

Half an hour before departure, the three teammates went to the train, where they first placed their luggage carefully in the cattle car, and then walked through the train until they found an empty 2nd class compartment. They pulled down the windows and leant out, nonchalantly regarding the activities on the platform. As the departure time was approaching, the platform became more crowded, and when the whistle blew, it was full of people wanting to see the skaters in general and the new World Champion in particular. There were hurrahs and waving of hands and “Vive la Norvège! Vives les norvègiens!” Oscar and his teammates hung in their 2nd class windows, waved back and smiled and nodded and thanked and waved back endlessly. Finally the train started moving. Slow, slowly, faster, faster and faster still with the Norwegian team hanging out from their 2nd class windows along with rivals from many countries, waving their handkerchiefs as long as the platform crowd was in sight.

As soon as the station was out of sight, they had to get back to their cattle car as fast as they could, or risk getting apprehended by the ticket collector. They took a polite, but hasty farewell with the other skaters, and hurried back to their luggage. Fortunately it was untouched. Relieved they started on the homeward journey.