Oscar Mathisen
Speedskating - Oscar Diary

The breakthrough men

After the Frogner Challenge Trophy races on February 13th and 14th, the skating king Oscar Mathisen took the rest of the season off, having skated only three meets altogether. He had proved that he was still the invincible, and that the signs of weakness he had shown in the two first ones only were due to the flu. So why prove it again? Last year in Helsinki, out of training and unprepared, he had received quite a lesson from the strong Finnish long distance skaters. If he went to Stockholm to meet them again, maybe more of the same. Or maybe not. 8.39,8 was pretty good. But he had started thinking of going pro now, and for that, any scratches in his reputation could be harmful.

The Nordic club match at the Olympic Stadium of Stockholm on the 20th and 21st unfortunately was struck by thaw, and the times were bad. The Swedes were behind from the start, despite having topped their team with Otto Andersson from Nyköping again, while the Kristiania skaters did well.

1.Väinö Wickström     52,1
2.Bjarne Frang        52,2
3.Henning Olsen       52,4
4.Sigurd Syversen     53,2
5.Julius Skutnabb     53,4
6.Paul Zerling        54,1
7.Walter Tverin       54,2
8.Ole Mamen           55,0
Otto Andersson        55,0
10.Emerik Larsson     55,8
11.Oscar Ericson      56,7
12.Waldemar Bergström 57,7

KSK 9 HSK 13 SASK 23

The HSK substitute Clas Thunberg skated an extra race in 52,5. In the 5000m, Frang was nearly lapped by Wickström. Henning Olsen again showed good ability and hung on to the top favourite Skutnabb, but fell and finished 9.7 seconds behind. Syversen was outclassed by the home favourite Zerling, who finished 2nd. Tverin beat Andersson and Mamen Larsson, while Bergström nearly lapped Ericson.

1.Julius Skutnabb     10.34,1
2.Paul Zerling        10.37,9
3.Henning Olsen       10.43,8f
4.Väinö Wickström     10.59,9
5.Walter Tverin       11.04,8
6.Ole Mamen           11.08,4
7.Waldemar Bergström  11.08,5
8.Otto Andersson      11.21,2
9.Emerik Larsson      11.23,9
10.Sigurd Syversen    11.26,8
11.Bjarne Frang       11.40,0
12.Oscar Ericson      11.47,8

HSK 10 SASK 17 KSK 18, sum: HSK 23 KSK 27 SASK 40

A poor outcome for the Norwegians, who had to endure defeat even to the Swedes. In the 1500m, Olsen again skated well and left Skutnabb behind. But Frang was annihilated by Wickström and Syversen outskated by Zerling. However, both Larsson and Mamen did surprisingly well, maybe they were the first pair, maybe the wind dropped for them, I don’t know. But Mamen did so well that he actually found himself topping the whole list, to his and everybody’s huge surprise.

1.Ole Mamen           2.52,0
2.Väinö Wickström     2.52,3
3.Paul Zerling        2.52,9
4.Henning Olsen       2.53,6
5.Julius Skutnabb     2.55,8
6.Sigurd Syversen     2.56,4
7.Emerik Larsson      2.59,2
8.Waldemar Bergström  3.00,0
9.Walter Tverin       3.07,2
10.Bjarne Frang       3.07,6
11.Otto Andersson     3.10,2
12.Oscar Ericson      3.13,2

KSK 11 HSK 15 SASK 19, sum: HSK and KSK 38 SASK 59

Surprisingly then the Norwegians were in for a chance after all. The Finns were well known for their expertise in the longest distance, but here, apparently, anything could happen. And it did. The ice deteriorated further, and the audience, who probably weren’t very numerous from the outset, had to endure 25 minutes or more of skating for each pair. The home favourite, who had done well and scored more points than anyone except Olsen and Wickström, then gave up his race against Skutnabb, who waded through his lone laps to finish in 23.06,8. Olsen again took a dive and finished 25 seconds behind Wickström, who was 31 behind Skutnabb again. Mamen however seemed to have the day of his life, beating Tverin by well over a minute and taking the lead in 22.49,9. Bergström, though he outclassed Andersson, could not match that and finished 3rd in 23.09,4. To win the match, Syversen had to beat Bergström, but only made 24.17,8 despite being nearly two minutes in front of his pairmate Larsson. In the remaining pair, Ericson alone skated 25.05,0.

1.Ole Mamen           22.49,9
2.Julius Skutnabb     23.06,8
3.Waldemar Bergström  23.09,4
4.Väinö Wickström     23.37,8
5.Henning Olsen       24.02,8f
6.Otto Andersson      24.04,6
7.Walter Tverin       24.13,6
8.Sigurd Syversen     24.17,8
9.Oscar Ericson       25.05,0
10.Emerik Larsson     26.06,0f
Paul Zerling dnf

HSK 9 KSK 13 SASK 23, final sum: HSK 47 KSK 51 SASK 82

Ole Mamen thus was the name of the day, winning both distances and saving his club from a huge defeat. One of the surprisingly many breakthrough men in this season when the best had few opportunities to meet. After the conclusion of the races, KSK protested formally against the participation of Otto Andersson, who was not a member of SASK as the rules specified. After all he had robbed the slowest Norwegians of a couple of points. But those two would not have been enough to save them anyway, and the matter was not pushed. With their 3rd win in a row the Finns now could take the trophy home to their Grand Duchy for proper storage. KSK travelled home to Kristiania, a bit cross with the national hero Oscar Mathisen, who had abandoned them. But if he had come, Ole Mamen might not have been selected, and perhaps things wouldn’t have been so different after all.

While KSK was busy losing the Nordic Club Trophy the rest of the Norwegian elite met at Hamar for a one-day meet. Here, Kristian Strøm won all 3 distances and concluded by defeating Aune in the final race, the 5000 m, by 1.6 seconds. The weather was mild and the ice poor at Hamar, too, and the winning times were only 49,4, 2.43,8 and 9.39,9.

At least two of these out-of-town skaters could have been very useful additions to the Norwegian Nordic Trophy team. But that applies in fact to the Finnish one as well, who could have benefited strongly from the participation of Arvo Tuomainen, who broke through sensationally in the SVUL-championship (the one for the Finnish language sport organisation) in Tampere the same weekend. On the Saturday he set two Finnish records: 45,9 and 18.22,0, and he equalled the 1500m record at 2.27,3 on the Sunday. First Melnikov, then this. Oscar sure didn’t lack rivals for the championships if they had been on this season.

In a meet at Bislett the same Sunday, Sverre Johan Nielsen from KIF won a 1500 m in 2.45,4 in the class 14–16 years. No. 2 was Ole Olsen, KIF, 2.49,4, no. 3 Roald Larsen, KSK, 2.49,7.