Lausanne, Switzerland


Speed skating is the fastest human powered sport on earth and Kjeld Nuis (NED) made it a little faster again last Thursday. The Olympic 1500m champion skated 103km/h on a frozen lake in Norway, to break his own unofficial world speed record on skates with 10km/h. Nuis skated on a specially prepared track behind a car with a windscreen to give him a draft.

Twice as long

Four years ago, after he had won the 1000m and 1500m at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games, Nuis set his previous unofficial world record, skating 93km/h on natural ice in Luleå, Sweden. This time he went to Savalen Lake in Norway.

After having won the 1000m and the 1500m at the World Cup final in Heerenveen (NED) on March 12-13, the 32-year-old Dutchman already looked forward to his renewed record attempt. “It’s going to be spectacular. People have been working day and night to prepare the track for three months already. The track is three kilometers, twice as long as last time and ten meters wide. The ice-master has driven up and forth 70km each day to make sure the conditions are optimal.” 

Support team

Like four years ago, Nuis was coached by former World Sprint Champion Erben Wennemars (NED), who had tested the newly developed windscreen at an airport. Four years ago, Swedish racing driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky sat behind the wheel of the car. This time Seth Quintero was at the helm. The American rally driver was the youngest driver to win a stage in the Dakar rally at age 18 in 2021.

Before reaching the 100km/h mark, Nuis had already tried to break his previous four-year-old record on Wednesday. In his first two attempts he did not manage more than 88km/h, however. On Thursday he only needed one attempt to break the 100km/h barrier.