Speed Skating

Hall of Fame

Born: October 5, 1981 - Asiago (ITA)

Combining sports with studies, the Italian Enrico Fabris was an extremely successful speed skater with numerous victories, including two gold medals at the 2006 Olympics in Turin. At the same time his compatriot Roberto Sighel put an end to his career, Fabris first emerged at the national and international podia. He finished second at the Italian allround championships in 2001 as well as 12th at the world championships. Of course those were not yet results that were met with fear by the competition, and that is true also for his performance at the Olympics a year later; 26th at the 1.500 and 16th at the 5.000.

The following years Fabris made great progression, so in 2004 the student of environmental science could compete with the best skaters in the world. That year, in Berlin, he won his first World Cup competition at what turned out to be his favorite discipline, the 1.500, defeating known specialists like Mark Tuitert (2nd) and Erben Wennemars (3rd). A year later, in Inzell, Fabris won the silver medal with Matteo Anesi and Ipolito Sanfratello at the first edition of the team pursuit, after The Netherlands.

Those results would turn out to be the prelude of a very successful Olympic season, that started out with a gold medal at the European allround championships in Hamar. Again, Fabris proved to be a master at the 1.500. Nonetheless, few people then thought the Italian would win three medals at the Olympics a few months later: in Turin he won bronze at the 5.000, gold at the 1.500 and, as icing on the cake, also gold on the team pursuit. Now for the first time, speed skating was on all the front pages in Fabris' home country Italy.

Although many speed skaters take a step back after an Olympic season, in 2007 Fabris was again in extremely good shape. At the World Cup in Salt Lake City he improved Sven Kramers world record on the 5.000 with 0.08 second: 6.07.40. A week later Kramer took his record back, but Farbis made his point: he would not settle being the best of the rest. Nonetheless, from 2007 onwards he never again succeeded in winning allround championships. Usually he finished second or third, behind Sven Kramer and Håvard Bøkko. Also, at the world championships single distances, the gold medal always stayed out of reach. He did however won more than a handful of World Cups (eight in total), including a 10.000 in Moscow (November 2006).

From 2008 onwards, Fabris gradually lost sight of the podium, with an absolute low at the World Cup in Chelyabinsk in November 2011: he finished 24th and last on ‘his’ 1.500. That weekend the Italian announced he would retreat from speed skating. His coach Gianni Romme was not surprised. "When you've won virtually everything, it gets increasingly difficult to stay motivated", he said during an interview. "Fabris just couldn’t do it anymore."

Jeroen Savelkouls, January 5, 2014

Career summary

Podia at championships

20052 World Championship Single Distances Team pursuitInzellGER
20061 Olympic Winter Games 1500 metersTurinITA
3 Olympic Winter Games 5000 metersTurinITA
1 Olympic Winter Games Team pursuitTurinITA
2 World Championship AllroundCalgaryCAN
1 European Championship AllroundHamarNOR
20072 World Championship Single Distances 5000 metersSalt Lake CityUSA
2 World Championship AllroundHeerenveenNED
2 European Championship AllroundCollalboITA
20082 World Championship Single Distances 5000 metersNaganoJPN
2 World Championship Single Distances 10,000 metersNaganoJPN
2 World Championship Single Distances Team pursuitNaganoJPN
3 European Championship AllroundKolomnaRUS
20093 World Championship AllroundHamarNOR
20102 European Championship AllroundHamarNOR

World Records

15000 meters6:07.40Nov 10, 2007Salt Lake CityUSA

Personal Bests

500m0:35.99Mar 18, 2006CalgaryCAN
1000m1:09.16Nov 11, 2007Salt Lake CityUSA
1500m1:43.48Dec 11, 2009Salt Lake CityUSA
3000m3:40.23Nov 5, 2005CalgaryCAN
5000m6:06.06Dec 12, 2009Salt Lake CityUSA
10,000m13:10.60Mar 19, 2006CalgaryCAN

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