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Beth Heiden

Full name: Elizabeth Lee "Beth" Heiden (-Reid)
Gender: Female
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
Weight: 106 lbs (48 kg)
Born: September 27, 1959 in Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Affiliations: Madison Speed Skating Club, Madison (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Speed Skating

Related Olympians: Sister of Eric Heiden.

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)

Biography

Beth Heiden was one of the world's most outstanding women athletes. In high school she played tennis and soccer, but also ran track, setting a national age-group record for the mile. She went on to an outstanding career as a speed skater, becoming in 1979 the first American to win the Women's World Championships by winning all four events. She finished second in that event in 1980, was second in the 1978 and 1979 World Sprints, and was expected to join her brother, Eric Heiden, in picking up a slew of medals at Lake Placid. But an ankle injury hounded her, and the press's expectations bothered her, and she was not the dominant force that Eric was. She came away with a bronze medal in her best event, the 3,000. Heiden did not skate competitively after the 1980 season, but she has kept in shape. Later in 1980, she became the first American to win the cycling road race at the Women's World Championships, and for awhile it seemed cycling had become her primary sport. Beth Heiden had attended the University of Wisconsin as a physics major. But in 1981 she transferred to the University of Vermont where she tried a completely new sport – cross-country skiing. After only one year after taking up the sport, in 1983, she won the NCAA Women's championship in cross-country skiing.

Personal Bests: 500 – 41.78 (1980); 1000 – 1:23.66 (1980); 1500 – 2:07.87 (1980); 3000 – 4:32.60 (1980); 5000 – 8:06.93 (1979).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1976 Winter 16 Innsbruck Speed Skating Women's 3,000 metres United States USA 11
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating Women's 500 metres United States USA 7
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating Women's 1,000 metres United States USA 5
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating Women's 1,500 metres United States USA 7 OR
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating Women's 3,000 metres United States USA 3 Bronze

Women's 500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 1c
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating United States Final Standings 7 43.18 11.23

Women's 1,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 2c 6c
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating United States Final Standings 5 1:27.01 19.32 52.18

Women's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 3c 7c 1.1k
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating United States Final Standings 7 OR 2:13.10 27.48 1:00.88 1:35.72

Women's 3,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 2c 6c 1k 1.4k 1.8k 2.2k 2.6k
1976 Winter 16 Innsbruck Speed Skating United States Final Standings 11 4:51.67 21.29 57.80 1:36.06 2:15.42 2:54.63 3:33.59 4:12.36
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Speed Skating United States Final Standings 3 4:33.77 20.31 54.17 1:28.94 2:04.59 2:40.75 3:17.37 3:54.76