Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

Number 1

A hundred years ago today, all the participants at the international races in Davos were given another go at the 5000m, despite the fact that only Oscar and Sigurd Mathisen had suffered from the faulty lap counting (or were the laps miscounted for all the pairs that Saturday?) Apart from the Mathisen brothers, only three other skaters took part this Monday, Franz Schilling and a couple of locals, Walther Linke and Roy Weibel. I don’t know if the weather still was snowy and windy. Possibly it was better. All skaters improved considerably since Saturday, but none as much as the Mathisen brothers.

Oscar probably is paired with Sigurd in this race. And Sigurd paced him well the first couple of laps, then let go. The early laps were very fast, just like last year. I’m comparing with a record schedule consisting of a 61 opener and eleven 41,5 laps after that. Oscar’s opening was 60, then came two 39 laps, and he was 6 seconds ahead. The (probably few) spectators smelled a sensation. The next laps were 41 and 40, and 8 seconds ahead of the record schedule! Was he heading for 8.20, or what? But now he started feeling the pace, and his laps went up to 42 and 43, losing 2 seconds again. 3000m split: 5.04. Exploiting the famous glide to the utmost he managed to keep this pace with tiring muscles, clocking one 43 lap more, then another. Now 3 seconds ahead of the record. Three laps to go. He had to dig in some more in order to make it. But did he know it? Probably not, as his only teammate was on the other side of the track, skating with him. Another 43 lap. Two laps to go. Needing two 42 laps now. One lap left. The split timekeeper noted the time, and would have shaken his head if he’d had a schedule to compare with. The lap was 44. Tired, Oscar set in his last resources, and crossed the line. The time was announced. 8.40,2. Excitingly close! But again disappointment. Anyway, he was happy with his 1000 meter record.

What he did not know was that with this time, he climbed past Østlund and for the first time topped Adelskalenderen. This was to go on for a long time, as we know. Just like his brother, Sigurd improved his pb by exactly 9.6 seconds, and climbed from 10th to 7th place.

In the other end of the table, Franz Gregoritsch moved into 195th and last place in Adelskalenderen when he completed his first 5000 meter at races in Klagenfurt a hundred years ago yesterday. A hundred years ago today, he improved his 10000m by three and a half minute, and climbed two places, past J Vervoort and W Gronert. Of course, this is only considering the races we know about. There is no doubt many others, likely including ones by Gregoritsch himself.