HALL OF FAME | Speedskating

Bonnie Blair Speed Skating at 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games



Speedskating originated in the Netherlands as far back as the 13th century. It is one of six sports to appear in every Olympic Winter Games. Speedskating was first contested as a men’s-only event at the first Winter Olympics in 1924. The women’s events were added at the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley.

Speedskating competitions typically always follow the European system where two skaters compete against each other. To gain as much ground as possible with each stride, skaters crouch so that their stomachs and thighs are nearly touching. Special skin-tight suits also help to cut down air resistance.

The greatest single feat in Winter Olympic history was made by Eric Heiden when he won gold medals for all five speedskating events at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Speedskating Hall of Fame Athletes

Apolo Ohno Hall of Fame 2019

Apolo Anton Ohno

Short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno is the most decorated winter Olympian in U.S. history, winning eight medals over three Olympic Winter Games.

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Bonnie Blair

Bonnie Blair

Speedskater Bonnie Blair was well known for her throng of family and friends and she gave them plenty to cheer about, winning five gold medals and one bronze over four Olympic Winter Games.

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Connie Carpenter-Phinney

After an ankle injury ended her speedskating career, Connie Carpenter-Phinney took up cycling and won a gold medal in the Olympic women’s cycling debut event at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

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Dan Jansen

After failing to win a medal in his first three Olympics, speed skater Dan Jansen set a world record and won gold in his final Olympic race, the 1,000 meters in the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games.

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Eric Heiden

Eric Heiden won an unprecedented gold medals in all five distances at the Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games, from the 500-meter sprint to the grueling 10,000-meter race.

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Jack Shea

Speed skater Jack Shea in 1932 became the first American to win multiple gold medals in a single Olympic Winter Games. He was killed by a drunk driver weeks before his grandson won Olympic gold.

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Notable moments in Olympic Speed skating