Speed Skating

Hall of Fame

Born: April 4, 1980 - Holten (NED)

Mark Tuitert is a Dutch professional speed skater. He is married to former skater Helen van Goozen. At the age of 18 Tuitert became world champion allround at the juniors. The general public was introduced to Tuitert in 2001, during the European Championship allround in Baselga di Piné. After a second place on both the 500m and 5000m he took the lead in the general classification. On the 1500m, his favorite distance, Tuitert stepped on a block and fell. The Russian rider Dmitry Shepel eventually won the tournament.

The following season Tuitert was struck down by glandular fever. Because of this, he could not participate at the Salt Lake City Olympics. In the next year’s Tuitert made a lot of progress. He was able to compete in all distances. The highlight came at the European Championship in 2004. In a sold-out Thialf stadium in Heerenveen he took the title by convincingly defeating his compatriots Verheijen, Uytdehaage and Romme. Moreover, Tuitert established a world record on the big combination with a score of 151.691 points.

The expectation was that new titles would follow soon. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tuitert would never win a major international allround tournament again. Yet there were other successes in this period. Tuitert became world champion in the team pursuit and twice he won the World Cup at the 1500m.

In the Olympic year 2006, Tuitert knew little success. During the Olympic Qualifying Tournament Tuitert was disappointing sixth in the 1500m. With this result he did not qualify for the Olympic Games in Torino at a single distance. Yet Tuitert was there during the Olympsiche Games of Torino. As a member of the pursuit team he won a bronze medal.

After the Torino Olympics Tuitert changed his strategy. He decided to stop participating in allround events and start focusing on shorter distances. This led to numerous podium finishes but unfortunately, there were no victories.

Under the guidance of coach Jaq Orie Tuitert finally succeeded to qualify for an individual distance at the Olympics. In Vancouver Tuitert started as an outsider on both the 1500m and 1000m. He became fifth on the 1000m after a solid race. A few days later Tuitert had his big moment of glory. On Saturday, February 20th, 2010, after many disappointments and falls, Tuitert won the gold medal in the 1500m. In a stunning race he defeated Hårvard Bøkko. The presumed winner Shani Davis was not capable of beating Tuiterts time of 1:45.57. Davis became second, just before Bøkko, who took the bronze. Mark Tuitert not only won the gold medal. Later that year he also became Sportsman of the year in the Netherlands.

Pieter Vankan, January 5, 2014

Career summary

Podia at championships

20033 European Championship AllroundHeerenveenNED
20042 World Championship Single Distances 1500 metersSeoulKOR
1 European Championship AllroundHeerenveenNED
20052 World Championship Single Distances 1500 metersInzellGER
1 World Championship Single Distances Team pursuitInzellGER
20063 Olympic Winter Games Team pursuitTurinITA
20101 Olympic Winter Games 1500 metersVancouverCAN
3 Olympic Winter Games Team pursuitVancouverCAN

World Records

1Team pursuit4:18.35Mar 8, 1998GeithusNOR
2Team pursuit4:11.71Feb 14, 1999ButteUSA
3Big combination151.691Jan 9/11, 2004HeerenveenNED
4Team pursuit3:46.44Nov 21, 2004BerlinGER

Personal Bests

500m0:35.20Dec 27, 2009HeerenveenNED
1000m1:07.84Dec 6, 2009CalgaryCAN
1500m1:42.87Nov 16, 2007CalgaryCAN
3000m3:41.16Aug 12, 2005CalgaryCAN
5000m6:27.63Jan 9, 2004HeerenveenNED
10,000m13:38.91Jan 11, 2004HeerenveenNED

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