Henk van der Grift

Hendrik ("Henk") van der Grift (born 25 December 1935) is a retired Dutch speed skater.

Henk van der Grift
Henk van der Grift 1962.jpg
Henk van der Grift in 1962
Personal information
Born (1935-12-25) 25 December 1935 (age 85)
Breukelen, the Netherlands
Sport
CountryNetherlands
SportSpeed skating
Henk van der Grift with Reyka van Zijtveld in February 1962; they married on 22 August 1962.[1]

At the 1960 Winter Olympics van der Grift finished 10th on the 500 m and fell on the 1500 m.[2] Not satisfied with training facilities in the Netherlands, he lived in Norway for a while, working as a car mechanic. The superior training facilities in Norway paid off and van der Grift won silver at the 1961 European Allround Championships behind Olympic Champion Viktor Kosichkin. This was the first Dutch medal in international championships in eight years and it made van der Grift one of the favourites for the World Allround Championships.[3]

And van der Grift delivered: in what turned out to be his greatest year, he became the 1961 World Allround Champion in Gothenburg. On the 500 m during those championships, he finished second behind Soviet sprinter Yevgeny Grishin. He then lost many points on the 5000 m, but he overcame that deficit by winning the 1500 m. On the final distance (the 10000 m), he seemed to be losing his lead, surrendering one second each lap to Viktor Kosichkin. But van der Grift managed to skate his final two laps fast enough to retain his lead, narrowly edging out Kosichkin by a margin of just 0.162 points (equivalent to 3.24 seconds of difference on the 10000 m).[3]

His victory made van der Grift the first Dutch World Allround Champion in more than 55 years – Coen de Koning had been the last in 1905. As a result of his victory, he was elected Dutch Sportsman of the year (a title shared with Judo giant Anton Geesink)[4] and he received the 1961 Oscar Mathisen Award.[5]

In 1962, van der Grift became Dutch Allround Champion, but he did not manage to successfully defend his World Champion title that year – after three of the four distances, van der Grift was in second place behind Boris Stenin, but despite Stenin's bad result on the final distance and van der Grift overtaking Stenin, van der Grift still finished second behind Kosichkin. The following season, he fell ill and ended his speed skating career.[3]

Personal recordsEdit

Personal records
Men's Speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 meter 41.2 24 February 1960 Squaw Valley
1000 meter 1:30.7 6 November 1963 Deventer
1500 meter 2:11.7 12 February 1961 Hamar
3000 meter 4:41.9 11 February 1961 Hamar
5000 meter 8:11.8 12 February 1961 Hamar
10000 meter 16:53.6 19 February 1961 Gothenburg

Van der Grift has a score of 175.960 points on the Adelskalendern.

Tournament overviewEdit

Season Dutch
Championships
Allround
European
Championships
Allround
Olympic
Games
World
Championships
Allround
19541955 13th 500m
19th 5000m
20th 1500m
DNQ 10000m
NC overall(19th)
1955–1956 30th 500m
20th 5000m
18th 1500m
DNQ 10000m
NC overall(24th)
1956–1957
1957–1958
1958–1959

1959–1960
OSLO
5th 500m
24th 5000m
12th 1500m
DNQ 10000m
NC overall(20th)
SQUAW VALLEY

10th 500m
DNF 1500m
DAVOS

5th 500m
19th 5000m
5th 1500m
16th 10000m
11th overall

1960–1961
HELSINKI

  500m
7th 5000m
  1500m
7th 10000m
  overall
GOTHENBURG

  500m
12th 5000m
  1500m
  10000m
  overall

1961–1962

  500m
  5000m
  1500m
  10000m
  overall
OSLO

  500m
13th 5000m
  1500m
8th 10000m
4th overall
MOSCOW

  500m
8th 5000m
  1500m
8th 10000m
  overall

1962–1963
GOTHENBURG

10th 500m
29th 5000m
23rd 1500m
DNQ 1000m
NC overall(24th)
KARUIZAWA

19th 500m
38th 5000m
28th 1500m
DNQ 10000m
NC overall(30th)
  • NC = No classification
  • DNQ = Did not qualify

Source:[6]

Medals wonEdit

Championship Gold
 
Silver
 
Bronze
 
Dutch Allround 1 0 0
European Allround 0 1 0
Olympic Games 0 0 0
World Allround 1 1 0

Dutch records establishedEdit

Nr. Event Result Date Location
1 1500 meter 2:23.2 25 February 1962 Amsterdam
2 Big combination 204.368 25 February 1962 Amsterdam
3 500 meter 43.2 10 March 1962 Amsterdam
4 5000 meter 8:18.9 10 March 1962 Amsterdam
5 1500 meter 2:18.6 11 March 1962 Amsterdam
6 10.000 meter 17:58.2 11 March 1962 Amsterdam
7 Big combination 193.200 11 March 1962 Amsterdam
8 1000 meter 1:30.7 6 November 1963 Deventer

[7]

Note: Prior to season 1967–1968 Dutch national records would be recognized only if skated in the Netherlands[8]


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Henk van der Grift gehuwd, "geeft elkander de rechterhand". Nationaal Archief
  2. ^ Henk van der Grift Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
  3. ^ a b c Henk van der Grift. schaatsstatistieken.nl
  4. ^ Sportman van het jaar. nocnsf.nl
  5. ^ Olympians Who Were Awarded the Oscarstatuetten (Oscar Mathisen Award) Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
  6. ^ "Skater Profile | Henk van der Grift | Men | Netherlands".
  7. ^ Bijlsma c.s. 1997, pp. 449-458.
  8. ^ Bijlsma c.s. 1997, p. 448.
Awards
Preceded by
  Eef Kamerbeek
Dutch Sportsman of the Year
with Anton Geesink

1961
Succeeded by
  Henk Nijdam
Preceded by
  Boris Stenin
Oscar Mathisen Award
1961
Succeeded by
  Jonny Nilsson