Jordan Stolz on pace for a magical weekend in Calgary

Jordan Stolz

Winter amateur sports fans could be in for something very special at the 2024 World Speed Skating Championships in Calgary this weekend. There is an American superstar who is emerging and we have not seen an American speed skater look this flawless since the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid when Eric Heiden of Madison, Wisconsin won a remarkable five gold medals.

Well, Jordan Stolz of West Bend, Wisconsin, a 19-year-old wonder, will not win five gold medals at the 2024 World Speed Skating Championships, but he has a legitimate chance to win three gold medals for the second straight year. On Friday, Stolz defended his World Championship title from Heerenveen a year ago in the men’s 500 metres with a personal best time of 33.69 seconds. He easily beat his closest competitor, Laurent Dubeuil of Canada, by 0.26 seconds. Dubreuil had a silver medal winning time of 33.95 seconds.

Stolz and Dubreuil were in the final pairing on Saturday. Dubreuil was able to stay with Stolz over the first 100 metres, and give the Calgary speed skating fans significant hope. Both skaters had an opening split time of 9.45 seconds. For Dubreuil, it was the fastest start of his career. However, there just seemed to be more juice in Stolz’s legs for the next 400 metres, and as a result he knocked off the 2021 500m World Champion rather easily.

Dubreuil had high praise for Stolz. “He’s the best skater in our generation and it’s tough to stay focused….Honestly I don’t mind it. We are there for peak performance, and he is pushing the limits of the human body. His body is a bit better than my body, clearly. But it helps me push myself…He is on another planet by itself. He should only get better…There’s more pressure on him than me…”

When I asked Dubreuil if there is a chance he could catch Stolz in the men’s 1000 metre on Saturday, he politely shook his head, and said “no chance.” Stolz is the world record holder in the men’s 1000 metre with a time of 1:05.37.

Three more gold medals were presented on Friday. Italy won the men’s team pursuit, the Netherlands won the women’s team pursuit, and Femke Kok of the Netherlands won the gold in the women’s 500 metres.

Arrow to top