Today in Sports History: January 20

In 1971, Dutch Speed Skater Ard Schenk recorded the world record of a 1000m skate in 1:18.8. 

Schenk won the World Championship every year from 1970-72, and the European Championship in 1966, 1970 and 1972. He also won two bronze medals at the World Sprint Championships, for the 1000 m. After winning an Olympic silver medal in the 1968 Games, Schenk also won three gold medals at the Sapporo Games. 

Schenk set 18 World Records, by becoming the first man to break 2 minutes over 1500 m and the first to beat 15 minutes in the 10,000 m. By 1971, he held all World Records except for the 500 m. Schenk was the first skater to win the 500m, 1,500m, 5,000m, and 10,000m races at the World Championship in a single year (1972). 

Ard Schenk won the Oscar Mathisen Trophy, best speed skating performance of the season, three times, and was named the Dutch athlete of the year four times. 

After his triple gold-winning records in Sapporo, Schenk decided to join a newly founded  professional skating team. Even though he won both the 1973 titles within the new league he joined, Schenk folded in 1974 and decided it was the end of his career. 

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