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Chad Hedrick Awarded 2004 Oscar Mathisen Trophy
On May 24, 2004 the U.S. Ice Speed
Skating Federation announced that
Chad Hedrick was the recipient
of the 2004 Oscar Mathisen Memorial Trophy.
Press Release Issued by US Speedskating on May 24, 2004
HEDRICK AWARDED 2004 OSCAR MATHISEN MEMORIAL TROPHY
The Oscar Mathisen Memorial Trophy for the speed skating
season 2003/04 has been awarded to U.S. skater Chad Hedrick
(Spring, Texas) for his victory at the World All-round
Championship held at the 1994 Olympic speed skating venue
in Hamar, Norway, February 7-8, 2004.
Hedrick was celebrated as World Champion less than one year
after his debut in international speed skating competitions.
He was the first non-Dutch skater since 1994 to win the World
All-round title, and he did so in a competition where all the
top five skaters bettered the current World Record set by the
Dutch skater Mark Tuitert at the 2004 European Championships
Hedrick was in the lead after first day's races in Hamar,
having finished 5th in the 500 and 2nd in the 5000m. After
finishing 5th also in the 1500m, he dropped to a 3rd place
in the overall ranking behind Shani Davis (Chicago, Ill.)
and Mark Tuitert of the Netherlands, who thus got the
advantage to skate in a later pair in the last distance.
However, only narrowly defeated by his pair-mate, the 5000m
winner Carl Verheijen, Hedrick set target times for Davis
and Tuitert in the 10000m that both of them failed to achieve.
With the results 36,49 (500m) - 6.20,69 (5000m) - 1.47,51
(1500m) - 13.21,67 (10000m), Hedrick set the new total points
World Record 150,478 in the all-round combination over 4 distances.
Hedrick was born in Spring, Texas, on April 17, 1977. Before
introducing himself to the international speed skating audience
he had collected no less that 50 World Champion titles in inline
skating, the most recent ones in 2002. Inspired by the successful
transition from inline skating of his countryman Derek Parra
(San Bernardino, Calif.), Olympic Speed Skating Champion in Salt
Lake City 2002, the ambition to win Olympic titles triggered
Hedrick to continue his skating career on ice. Already he counts
among the main contenders for Olympic medals in Torino 2006.
In Seoul, Korea, he became the very first non-Dutch skater to
win the 5000m World Champion title, six weeks after being celebrated
as the World All-round Champion.
Hedrick is the third U.S. speed skater to be honored with the Oscar
Mathisen Memorial Trophy. Previous winners from the U.S. are the triple
Olympic 500m Champion Bonnie Blair (winner in 1992), and Eric Heiden,
who received the award for the fourth consecutive season in 1980,
after having won all five Olympic gold medals in Lake Placid.
The "Oscar Award of speed skating" was introduced by
(Oslo Skating Club, OSK) to commemorate the legendary Norwegian speed
skater Oscar Mathisen (1888-1954). Since 1959 the trophy has been
presented annually to honour the outstanding speedskating performance
of the season.
The trophy is awarded by a committee consisting of speedskating
organisers and statisticians Tron Espeli and Magne Teigen,
speedskating reporter Nina Farstad, speedskating commentator
and former Oscar-Winner Ådne Søndrål, and OSK chairman Hasse Farstad.
The winner is awarded a miniature of the statue of Oscar Mathisen,
created by the sculptor Arne Durban. The statue is placed outside
Frogner Stadium in Oslo, the venue of many of Oscar Mathisen's most
The trophy will be presented to Hedrick on the occasion of the
first World Cup event of the coming season, in Hamar Olympic Hall
during November 13-14, 2004.
To read an announcement in Norwegian connect see this article:
"Oscar-statuetten 2004 tildelt Chad Hedrick"
About the Oscar Mathisen Trophy
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