Kewaskum native Jordan Stolz made speed skating history in the Netherlands over the weekend, becoming the first male skater to take gold in three different events at the World Championships.
But the records didn’t stop there. Stolz, 18, also became the youngest person to win the 500 meter since the World Championships began in 1985 — with a time of 34.10 seconds.
“I guess I wrote some history,” Stolz told the International Skating Union after Sunday’s race.
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A 🌟 is born in speed skating. pic.twitter.com/Pn27KPfTLr— Team USA (@TeamUSA) March 5, 2023
Stolz finished the 1000-meter race in 1:07.11, about a half-second faster than second-place finisher and Dutch speed skater Thomas Krol. The 1500-meter event took Stolz 1:43.59, finishing 0.26 seconds ahead of three-time Olympic champion Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands.
Stolz’ speed skating season has been a hard one to ignore. His coach Bob Corby said the 18-year-old’s performance was surprising even to him.
“Our goal for the beginning of year was for him to win the Junior World Championships. So that’s what we trained for,” Corby told Wisconsin Public Radio. “If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that he’s going to win three races at the senior World Championships, like no, not quite yet, maybe a year or two, but not quite.”
In November, Stolz became the youngest male to win a World Cup race, taking gold in the 1500-meter race, according to Team USA. Stolz also swept all three distances at the World Junior Speed Skating Championships in February.
Corby joined Stolz in the Netherlands and said the arena erupted with cheers after Stolz won his third and final race of the season.
“No one can believe it over there. The fans are really, really excited, but they can’t believe it. And the skaters can’t believe it. And the coaches can’t believe it. And people just keep walking up to me going like, ‘What are you doing?’ And it’s just amazing. You know, he’s so good,” Corby said through a chuckle.
Stolz, who trains at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, competed in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing when he was just 17 years old. He placed 13th in the 500-meter event, and 14th in the men’s 1000-meter event.
Speed skater Greta Myers trains alongside Stolz at Pettit. She said his success is inspiring for younger kids just starting out in the sport.
“Speed skating is an incredibly hard sport and there are so many different aspects that go into becoming fast,” she said in a text. “Mastering technique, building endurance and strength, mental stamina and understanding track patterns, along with blade maintenance to name a few. Jordan works extremely hard on all these qualities and that’s what makes him one of the best.”
Michael Salm is with DASH Skating, a speed skating club dedicated to training the sport’s next generation. He said having an athlete like Stolz training in “our backyard” is something to behold.
“Ice skating is kind of in the Midwest’s DNA,” Salm said. “And then you have this 18-year-old that just comes onto the scene. And I mean … what he’s done at his age and winning juniors and then also senior World Championships in the same year. It’s just phenomenal. It’s an inspiration for generations to come.”
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