Jordan Stolz becomes youngest man to win World Cup speed skating race

American Jordan Stolz became the youngest man to win an individual speed skating World Cup in history, according to Speedskatingstats.com, in a resounding victory to open the season.

Stolz, 18, won the 1,500m in Stavanger, Norway in 1 minute, 44.891 seconds, a track record. He distanced the second Connor Howe of Canada by 1.76 seconds and said a few minutes later that he was a little flabbergasted.

Stolz broke German Pierre Adeberg1986 as the youngest man to win an individual World Cup race. The only young woman to win was the two-time Olympic 500m champion Lee Sang-Hwa from South Korea, according to Speedskatingstats.com.

“It was crazy,” Stolz told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I didn’t know how anything was going to happen. I had no expectations before the race.

Stolz’s margin of victory was greater than what separated second-placed Howe from the 16th-placed Dutchman Thomas Krollwho won Olympic gold in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m in February.

Last season, Stolz broke the junior world records in the 500m and 1,000m and became the third-youngest U.S. Olympic men’s speed skater in history. He finished 13th in the 500m and 14th in the 1000m at the Olympics. He did not run the 1500m at the Olympic trials.

The Stavanger World Cup is hosting a men’s 500m on Saturday and a men’s 1000m on Sunday, among other races live on Peacock. Stolz said he will also race the 5000m later on Saturday if he is placed in the top half of the 500m schedule for lower-ranked skaters.

Few skaters go from the 500m, the shortest sprint, to the 5000m, the second longest men’s distance. Stolz was asked how far he plans to go at the world championships in March and he replied with a smile.

“All of them,” he said, although he later clarified he couldn’t do the 10,000m.

It still evokes Eric Heydenwho won all five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics – the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.

“I still think about him,” Stolz, a Wisconsin native like Heiden, told NOS on Friday. “What he did was almost impossible, so I wouldn’t compare it at all.”

Stolz was inspired by speed skating while watching Apolo Ohno in short track at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Stolz’s father then shoveled space to skate on the pond behind the family home north of Milwaukee.

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