Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

A 100 years ago today, thousands of workers marched the streets of Berlin protesting against the Prussian franchise system allowing the richest fifth of the voters to elect 2 thirds of the parliamentary delegates. The system survived, while the workers faced the bayonets of the city police and the Prussian army.

Frogner Stadion with GratishaugenIn Kristiania there was marching in the streets, too. The Finnish Cup match continued, and despite the weather, now with rains instead of snows, there was a massive trek of hopefuls from the city towards the Frogner rink. A long, black chain of queuers lined the sidewalks towards the ticket booths, and when the meet was ready to start at 1 PM, 12,000 were packed inside the walls with 2000 more standing on the little hill outside where they could get a glimpse of the skaters, the so-called Gratishaugen, also known as 203-metershøyden from an episode during the Russo-Japanese war.

The famous Zakken Johansen and his crew had been able to provide reasonably good ice despite the weather today. However, the home team didn’t do so well initially. In the first pair, Magnus Johansen had a near-fall just after start and got himself soundly defeated by Wickström. Of course, Magnus wasn’t expected to score any points in the 500m, his weakest distance. Hopes were higher for Henning Olsen in the next pair, and through the southern (final) curve he seemed to be 15 meters ahead of Strömstén when he fell. Thousands let out a unison cry of dismay.

But now a tomblike quiet fell over the stadium as the world record holder Vikander stood on the starting line against the new sprinter king, the crowd’s favourite Oscar Mathisen. The starting flag went down and the two famed sprinters were off. Through the first straight, Oscar built up a slight advantage, and this he increased steadily through the race with the cheer following the skaters around the rink. “Oscar! Hæng i, gut! Hæng i!” the shouts rang if we are to believe the newspapers. And the time, 46.3, was excellent under the circumstances, the race extraordinary beautiful and elegant according to those that saw it. Possibly the best sprint race ever up to that day. Indeed, the difference is telling.

In the last pair, brother Sigurd overwhelmed the ex World Champion Wathén, splitting the Finnish trio behind Oscar, thus securing a win for the home team on this distance too, after all.


1.Oscar Mathisen   46.3
2.John Vikander    48.2
3.Sigurd Mathisen  48.8
4.Gunnar Strömstén 49.3
5.Väinö Wickström  49.4
6.Franz F Wathén and 
Magnus Johansen    51.0
8.Henning Olsen    53.4f

KSK 10 - HSK 11, sum KSK 17 - HSK 25

Junior races filled the wait before the 1500 m, augmented by a couple of Swedes and a Dane.

1.Einar Staff        2.44.8
2.Aksel Mathiesen    2.44.9
3.Paul Zerling       2.46.6
4.Reidar Gundersen   2.49.8
5.Stener Johannessen 2.50.0
6.Albert Berglund    2.50.8
7.Thoralf Thoresen   2.51.0
8.Arne Gulbrandsen   2.51.8
9.Ludvig Engebretsen 2.52.2
10.Trygve Aulie      2.54.2
Ejnar Sørensen       2.50.0 oc

I don’t have the sequence of the pairs in the 1500m. All I know is that Olsen skated with Wathén. But this implies that the pairings were made on the basis of the 500m results, which in turn means that each of the Norwegians again beat his pairmate, and with a good difference, too—Oscar beating Vikander, Sigurd Strömstén, Magnus Wickström in addition to Henning’s easy win over the ex champion. He had the slowest time among the Norwegians again, but received a lot of praise for his light, elastic strokes and correct technique, already rather popular with the fans.


1.Oscar Mathisen   2.35.4
2.Magnus Johansen  2.39.6
3.John Vikander    2.42.0
4.Väinö Wickström  2.42.2
5.Sigurd Mathisen  2.44.4
6.Henning Olsen    2.45.0
4.Gunnar Strömstén 2.46.0
6.Franz F Wathén   2.51.2

KSK 8 - HSK 13, total sum KSK 25 - HSK 38

For the final ceremony, the orchestra played the national anthem for the home team and for the visitors, the March of the Björneborgar with the Runeberg lyrics. There’s no mention of any Russian present protesting against this.

Meanwhile in Falun the Swedish Championship was concluded with a crushing victory for Öholm in the absence of Otto Andersson.

1500 m
1.Moje Öholm        2.48.1
2.Einar Stamberg    2.54.0
3.G Asplund         2.55.6
4.Birger Carlsson   2.56.0
5.Herbert Nordkvist 2.57.0
6.Carl Wickholm     3.00.2
7.B Persson         3.03.6
8.Viktor Thorild    3.04.0

1.Öholm      3
2.Carlsson   8
3.Asplund   10
4.Stamberg  11
5.Nordkvist 13
6.Thorild   18

10000 m
1.Öholm     20.33.2
2.Carlsson  21.16.0
3.Nordkvist 21.25.6
4.Asplund   22.19.0
5.Stamberg  22.43.5
6.Thorild   23.04.6

Total points
GOLD.Öholm       4
Silver.Carlsson 10
bronze.Asplund  14
4.Nordkvist og
Stamberg        16
6.Thorild       24