Today we mourn the passing and celebrate the life of Jeen van den Berg
Jeen van den Berg (8 January 1928 – 8 October 2014) was a Dutch speed skater primarily known as the winner of the Elfstedentocht of 1954. He rode the race a record seven times, his first in 1947 and his final race in 1997.
On 3 February 1954, van den Berg finished the race in a record 7 hours and 35 minutes, a record bettered by Evert van Benthem only 31 years later. He came third in the infamous 1963 race.
In 1973 he became the first Dutch marathon skate champion. As a long-track speed skater, Van den Berg took part at the 1956 and 1960 Winter Olympics. In 1956 he finished 24th at the 5000 meters and in 1960 he ended 19th at the 5000 and 22nd at the 1500 meters.
Jeen has accumulated over a thousand throphees during his skating career and was the first official Marathon skating Champion, he was already 44 by then. He said goodbye to the ice skating world in 2000 as official during the Dutch skating Championships. He was honorary citizen of Herenveen and Knight in the order of Oranje Nassau. He was also called Mr Thialf (Thialf is probably the best and most famous ice skating ring in the world)
Jeen was a teacher by proffesion and was married to Atty van den Berg. He suffered a brain haemorrhage and died in a nursery home
May he rest in peace, he will be missed