NO1: Arie van Vliet – 1936 Olympic Champion 1.000 Meters Time Trial

Date: August 8, 1936

At age 20, Arie van Vliet was already one of the world’s fastest men on a bike. At the World Championships in 1934 and 1935 van Vliet had placed second in the sprint. The day before the 1000 meters time trial, van Vliet had finished second in the sprint again, in a controversial final, in which van Vliet had been pushed severely by his German opponent in the final, Toni Merkens. Inexplicably, Merkens did receive a fine for 100 Deutschmarks for the offense but was allowed to keep his victory. Arie van Vliet was furious, as was the Dutch press, which headlined with “The disgrace of Berlin”. The Dutch hadn’t assigned any cyclist to the 1000 meters yet and asked Arie if he wanted to set things straight. Van Vliet won in a Olympic record time of 1 minute 12 seconds exactly. 0.8 seconds before number two Pierre George (France) and a full second before number three Rudolf Karsch (Germany).

Arie van Vliet, nicknamed ‘The Professor’ for obvious reasons, road on RIH SPORT almost his entire career. In 1938 Arie van Vliet had changed to the pros and defeated Belgian champ Jef Scherens in the World Championship final. In 1939 the two were set to meet again in the final of the World Championship, however the race was canceled when WW II broke out. Winning four World Championships and multiple Dutch national championships in a career that spanned 2 decades, he’s one of our most successful champions.



Personal information

Born 18 March 1916, Woerden, Netherlands

Died: 9 July 2001 (aged 85), Woerden, Netherlands


Medal record

Olympic games

Gold – 1936 Berlin 1000 meters time trial

Silver – 1936 Berlin Sprint


World Championships

Gold – 1936 Zurich Amateur sprint

Gold – 1938 Amsterdam Sprint

Gold – 1948 Amsterdam Sprint

Gold – 1953 Zurich Sprint

Silver – 1934 Leipzig Amateur sprint

Silver – 1935 Brussels Amateur sprint

Silver – 1937 Copenhagen Sprint

Silver – 1950 Liege Sprint

Silver – 1954 Cologne Sprint

Silver – 1957 Liege Sprint

Bronze – 1946 Zurich Sprint

Bronze – 1949 Copenhagen Sprint

Bronze – 1955 Milan Sprint