Harm Kuipers

Harm Kuipers

Harm Kuipers in 2011.
Personal information
Nationality Dutch
Born (1947-11-22) November 22, 1947
Vries, Netherlands
Country Netherlands
Sport Speed skating
Turned pro 1969
Retired 1975

Harm Kuipers (born 22 November 1947) is a former speed skater from the Netherlands. Kuipers combined his sports careers with being a Medicine student at the University of Groningen. Preferring his studies over speed skating, he did not participate in the 1972 Winter Olympics, a decision he still regrets today.[1] The best year of his speed skating career was 1975, when he became World Allround Champion, after having won silver the year before. From 1971 to 1976, Kuipers also was a successful amateur bicycle racer.

Apart from combining his studies with his sports careers, another thing that set Kuipers apart was that he was his own coach, something that was in line with his later scientific career. After winning his world title in 1975, Kuipers concentrated on his scientific career, receiving his M.Sc. in Medicine from the University of Groningen in 1975, a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Maastricht in 1983, and he became a full professor at the University of Maastricht in 1992 at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences Department of Human Movement Sciences. Until 2012, he was a professor of Human Movement Sciences at the University of Maastricht where much of his research focused on the health aspects of physical activity, energy metabolism during exercise, and nutrition.[2]

Since 2000, Kuipers has been a medical advisor to the International Skating Union. From 2000 to 2003, he was member of the list committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He also is a member of the medical committee of the International Olympic Committee and an advisor to the Sports Physiotherapy For All (SPA) Project of the International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy (IFSP).

Early in 2010 Kuipers was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is open about his illness and has talked about it on regional television. Being a doctor he is keen on helping other patients, which is why he wishes to share his own experiences with this disease. Kuipers hopes to beat the statistics for people with prostate cancer. End of 2011 a second cancer, esophagus cancer, was found.


An overview of medals won by Kuipers at important championships he participated in, listing the years in which he won each:

Championships Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal
World Allround 1975 1974
World Sprint
European Allround 1975 1973
Dutch Allround 1974

Personal records

To put these personal records in perspective, the column WR lists the official world records on the dates that Kuipers skated his personal records.

500 m40.4 19 January 1973Davos38.0 
1,000 m1:21.4717 January 1975Davos1:17.23
1,500 m2:02.0 15 January 1972Davos1:58.7 
3,000 m4:20.511 March 1973Inzell4:08.3 
5,000 m7:24.549 February 1974Inzell7:09.8 
10,000 m15:21.292 March 1975Inzell14:55.9 
Big combination173.30510 February 1974Inzell167.420

Kuipers has an Adelskalender score of 171.584 points.


  1. Famous graduates Harm Kuipers. University of Groningen (2006-08-04). Retrieved on 2007-08-23.
  2. Professor Harm Kuipers, Advisor. International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy SPA Project (2005-08-15). Retrieved on 2007-08-23.
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