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Ken Henry

Full name: Kenneth Charles "Ken" Henry
Gender: Male
Born: January 7, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 1, 2009 in Lake Bluff, Illinois, United States
Affiliations: Northwest Skating Club
Country: USA United States
Sport: Speed Skating

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Ken Henry was the first American to win an Olympic and a World Championship in speed skating. Henry actually twice won the World 500 meter championship, in 1949 and 1952, placing fourth in the overall championship in both years. In 1952 he added his Olympic gold medal in the short sprint. Henry also competed in the 1948 and 1956 Olympics without winning a medal. Ken Henry holds the distinction of being the first American Olympic athlete to light the Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony. This occurred in 1960 at Squaw Valley when he was handed the torch by skiing gold medalist, Andrea Mead Lawrence. Henry circled the ice rink before lighting the Olympic Flame. In 1968, Henry's Olympic connection continued when he was the head coach of the U.S. speed skating team. Henry stayed involved in sports with his job – for many years he was a golf professional at a club in a Chicago suburb. Henry attended Northern Illinois University where he majored in physical education and played on the golf team.

Personal Bests: 500 – 42.1 (1949); 1500 – 2:21.9 (1949); 5000 – 8:38.0 (1950); 10000 – 17:48.1 (1949).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Winter 19 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 500 metres United States USA 5
1948 Winter 19 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 22
1948 Winter 19 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating Men's 5,000 metres United States USA 18
1952 Winter 23 Oslo Speed Skating Men's 500 metres United States USA 1 Gold
1952 Winter 23 Oslo Speed Skating Men's 1,500 metres United States USA 17
1952 Winter 23 Oslo Speed Skating Men's 5,000 metres United States USA 29
1956 Winter 27 Cortina d'Ampezzo Speed Skating Men's 500 metres United States USA 17T

Men's 500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 1c
1948 Winter 19 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating United States Final Standings 5 43.3 10.7
1952 Winter 23 Oslo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 1 43.2
1956 Winter 27 Cortina d'Ampezzo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 17T 42.8

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 3c 7c 1.1k
1948 Winter 19 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating United States Final Standings 22 2:24.6 30 1:09 1:46
1952 Winter 23 Oslo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 17 2:25.0 29 1:05 1:44

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 6c 1k 1.4k 1.8k 2.2k 2.6k 3k 3.4k 3.8k 4.2k 4.6k 2c
1948 Winter 19 Sankt Moritz Speed Skating United States Final Standings 18 8:56.0 59 1:38 2:19 3:01 3:44 4:27 5:11 5:54 6:38 7:24 8:10
1952 Winter 23 Oslo Speed Skating United States Final Standings 29 8:59.9 1:46 2:29 3:12 3:54 4:37 5:20 6:04 6:49 7:33 8:17 1:04
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