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Interesting and Fun Facts about Jaap Eden, a Dutch Athlete



Interesting and Fun Facts about Jaap Eden, a Dutch Athlete

Google Doodle celebrates the 150th birthday of Dutch athlete Jaap Eden on October 19, 2023. His athletic abilities elevated him to international prominence in the early 20th century, and he continues to be the only individual to win world titles in both skating and cycling. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Jaap Eden.

Jaap Eden 150th Birthday Google Doodle
Google Doodle on Jaap Eden’s 150th Birthday

Who was Jaap Eden?

A Dutch athlete was named Jacobus Johannes “Jaap” Eden. In both speed skating and bicycle racing, he is the only male athlete to have won world championships.

Quick Look

Birth name: Jacobus Johannes Eden
Birth date: 19 October 1873
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died on: 2 February 1925 (aged 51)
Death place: Haarlem, Netherlands
Spouse(s): Louise Elisabeth Prinsen

25 Interesting Facts about Jaap Eden

  1. Johannes Eden and Maria Baale welcomed Jaap Eden into the world on October 19, 1873, in Groningen. Eden’s birth complications led to his mother’s death.
  2. The infant was sent to his grandparents, who ran a hotel close to Santpoort, because his father, a gymnastics teacher, was unable to care for him alone.
  3. Jaap Eden used to love gymnastics, running in the dunes near his grandparents’ house, and skating in the winter. The top Dutch skater at the time, Klaas Pander, was impressed by Eden’s speed and skating technique and invited the 15-year-old to train with him.
  4. Jaap Eden’s first notable triumph occurred in December 1890 in a 160-meter short-track race. Eden was granted permission by the Dutch Federation to participate in the world championships at the age of 17.
  5. Since there was no international governing body then, the championships were run by the Skating Club of Amsterdam. There were only two foreign competitors, with American Joe Donoghue emerging as the first champion.
  6. Jaap Eden participated in the two shortest skating events out of the four, finishing third in the half-mile and fourth in the mile. Eden participated in the European Championship in Hamburg but had little luck.
  7. The 1892 World Championships were postponed due to bad weather, and only skaters from Austria participated in the European Championships. Eden, on the other hand, participated in and won his first international competition at the Prince of Orange Cup in England.
  8. After bandy was brought to the Netherlands in 1891, Jaap Eden also competed at the highest level.
  9. Eden had won the 1500m and 5000m Dutch championships two days prior to the championships. His time of 2:35.0 for the 1500 meters is the first world record in that distance to be recognized by the ISU. Eden, having trained in Norway earlier in the winter, became the clear favorite going into the world championships.
  10. Jaap Eden and Oskar Frederiksen (Norway) were tied in the preliminary 1500m race, but Eden won the final race against him.
  11. In the 5000m, he defeated the field by a half-minute margin, and his principal rival, Frederiksen, failed to finish.
  12. In the 500m final on the second day, Eden faced another challenge from Frederiksen, but this time, Eden prevailed over the Norwegian. With this victory, Eden secured his third place in the world rankings.
  13. In the 10000m, Frederiksen set the first official world record. In the final race, Jaap Eden was skating alone when she fell after the first lap.
  14. A large crowd in Eden’s hometown of Haarlem greeted him after his win. He rose to national recognition.
  15. Eden trained in Hamar, Norway the following winter and left for Stockholm in early February 1894 to compete in the world championships.
  16. Eden set a 10,000-meter world record on ice. His time of 19:12.4 put him thirty seconds in front of the others. He was defeated by Einar Halvorsen in the third distance, meaning there was no world champion. Eden fell and was unable to complete the remaining distance.
  17. The European championships were held in Hamar two weeks later. Due to the severe wind on the first day, Eden was officially unable to compete. But he was in his hotel room with a chambermaid.
  18. On the second day, Eden made a triumphant return to the ice, winning the 5,000m in 8:37.6, setting a new world record by nearly thirty seconds. The record stood for almost 17 years until Nikolay Strunnikov broke it by 0.4 seconds.
  19. In honor of Jaap Eden, Amsterdam has two ice skating rinks: Jaap Edenbaan (outdoor) and Jaap Edenhal (indoor).
  20. The Jaap Eden Award has been given to the Dutch Sportsman of the Year since 1972. The prize for this accomplishment is a statue named after Eden that was made by Bilthoven-born painter and sculptor Jits Bakker (born 1937).
  21. At the close of the 1800s, Jacobus Johannes Eden rose to prominence as one of the greatest sports legends in the Netherlands. Even though it was over a century ago, his extraordinary accomplishments are still highly regarded in our nation. For instance, the Jaap Eden Ice Rink in Amsterdam opened its doors in 1961, and the annual sports award “Athlete of the Year” bears his name.
  22. Jaap Eden is one of the most versatile athletes the Netherlands has ever produced. The Ministry of Finance commissioned the Royal Dutch Mint to create an official commemorative coin, the Jaap Eden 5 Euro Coin, to recognize his extraordinary accomplishment.
  23. The Royal Dutch Mint produces a unique Cycling Medal in honor of Jaap Eden, who won the world championship in track cycling precisely 125 years ago in 2019.
  24. The Jaap Eden 5 Euro Coin Silver Proof and the Jaap Eden Cycling Medal Silver Proof, packaged in a gorgeous skating rink standard, combine the best performances of Jaap Eden on the skating and cycling tracks in this special set.
  25. On October 19, 2023, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Jaap Eden’s 150th Birthday.
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