Nesbitt - winner of the 2012 Oscar Award

Oslo Skøiteklub (Oslo Skating Club) - News release

Christine Nesbitt, winner of the 2012 Oscar Award

OSLO, Norway – The Oscar Award of Speed Skating for the 2012 season was awarded today to Canadian skater Christine Nesbitt for her amazing 1,000-metre world record race during the World Sprint Championships in Calgary on Saturday, Jan. 28.

This race was the ultimate achievement in Nesbitt’s unbroken string of victories on the 1,000-metre distance during last season’s international championships and World Cup events. In Calgary, her victory margin was as big as one-and-a-half seconds, and with a time of 1:12.68, she improved the six-year-old world record by 0.43 seconds.

Nesbitt won five World Cup races on the distance, as well as both races during the Sprint World Championships, and she wrapped up the season by capturing her third World Championship Single Distances title in the 1,000 metres. She won all of these races with a margin of more than half-a-second to her closest opponent.

Christine Nesbitt – through her 1,000-metre world record race – not only gave last season’s strongest individual achievement. She was also the best skater of the 2011-12 season, winning World Championship gold medals in the 1,000-metre as well as the 1,500-m, a silver medal in the World Sprint Championships (losing with a microscopic margin), a bronze medal in the World All-Round Championships, as well as a silver medal in the team pursuit.

She also gained overall victories on the 1,000-metre and 1,500-metre World Cup competitions. Having achieved this, she also became the obvious winner of the very first total World Cup trophy.

Following this season, Nesbitt has noted four of the five fastest 1,000-metre races in history, and she is the track record holder of ten of the world’s most prominent skating venues.

Fourth Oscar winner from Canada

The Oscar Award was launched in 1958 in honour of Norwegian skating king Oscar Mathisen (1888-1954). Nesbitt will be awarded a miniature of the statue of Oscar Mathisen, created by the sculptor Arne Durban. The statue is placed outside Frogner Stadium in Oslo, the venue of many of Mathisen’s most memorable victories.

The members of the Oscar Mathisen Award Committee for 2011-12 are Laila Andresen, Tron Espeli, Hasse Farstad, Ådne Søndrål and Magne Teigen.

Nesbitt is the fourth Canadian winner of the Oscar Award. The first winner was Gaëtan Boucher, winner of the World Sprint Championships and Olympic gold medals in the 1,000 metres and 1,500 metres in 1984.

The second winner from Canada was Cindy Klassen, whose unique success in the 2006 season, with five Olympic medals in Turin, and victory on all four distances at the World All-Round Championships in Calgary, was a great inspiration at the early stages of Nesbitt’s career.

Two years later, the Oscar Mathisen trophy was awarded Canadian sprint star Jeremy Wotherspoon, the skater with the highest number of victories in the men’s World Cup history.