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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.

Chad Hedrick

Oscar Mathisen
Chad Hedrick
© Meijco van Velzen

Oscar Mathisen
(1888 - 1954)

Press Release Issued by US Speedskating on May 24, 2004


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 in Heerenveen.

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 Skøiteklub (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 memorable victories.

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" at Skoytesport.no.

About the Oscar Mathisen Trophy
History of the Oscar Mathisen Trophy
Who Was Oscar Mathisen?
Past Winners by Year
Past Winners by Country
Past Winners by Name

Related Links
Chad Hedrick - Main Menu
About the Oscar Mathisen Trophy
Bios of the Top Ice Speed Skaters
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