Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) brought Speed Skating back to life in Norway. The 25-year-old sprinter from Bergen seized the 500m gold at PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, 70 years after Finn Helgesen won the last Norwegian 500m at the 1948 Olympics in Saint Moritz/Switzerland, 50 years after Magne Thomassen took the last Norwegian medal in the 500m (silver), and 25 years after Adne Søndral grabbed the last Norwegian Olympic Speed Skating title in the 1500m.
Norway’s national coach Sondre Skarli praised Lorentzen for always keeping his nerves. “We even have an expression in the team: ‘Taking a Lorre’” in reference to emulating the 500m Champion. “When you mess up a race, don’t cry too much and look forward to the next race.” Lorentzen, who added the 1000m silver to his tally, has many talents, said Skarli: “He was a Norwegian junior cycling champion, but he is good in basketball, in football, he plays the drums and he plays guitar. He doesn’t see boundaries.”
On February 19, the day of his winning 500m race, Lorentzen had been playing the guitar to relax: “I played probably two or three hours just to cool myself down before the race, Metallica and Guns ‘n Roses songs”, he said.
Lorentzen inspired the Norwegian men to win another gold at the Gangneung Oval, when they took the Team Pursuit title on February 21, 2018. Anchored by the inexhaustible Sverre Lunde Pedersen, Håvard Bøkko and Simen Spieler Nilsen beat the Netherlands in the semifinals and Korea in the final. Sindre Henriksen skated for Håvard Bøkko in the quarter finals and also collected the Team Pursuit gold.
To see the full event of the Speed Skating Men 500m event watch the video below: