Host City: Squaw Valley, United States
Venue(s): Speed Skating Oval, Squaw Valley, California
Date Started: February 23, 1960
Date Finished: February 23, 1960
The world record was 5:13.8, set in 1953 at Medeo by Soviet Rimma Zhukova. At the recent World Championships, the distance had been won by Lidiya Skoblikova (URS-1960), Eevi Huttunen (FIN-1959), and Inga Artamanova (URS-1958). Skoblikova had already won the 1,500 metres in Squaw Valley. The other two Soviet skaters in the event, who had to be considered as no non-Soviet woman had been on the all-around podium at the World Championships since 1952, were Tamara Rylova and Valentina Stenina, wife of top men's skater, Boris Stenin. Stenina had recently won the 1960 World Championships in all-around, and had been second at this distance.
Twenty skaters came to the mark. Rylova was in the third pair and took the lead, but her time of 5:30.0 would place her only ninth. The next favorite to skate was Stenina in the seventh pair. Her time of 5:16.9 was considered fast, and put her into a comfortable lead. Huttunen was up two pairs later, and although she was ahead of Stenina's pace through 2,200 metres, she struggled on the final laps, finishing in 5:21.0. Skoblikova was in the last pair, the 10th, but the day was cold, and the ice was still good. She led throughout, finishing in 5:14.3, the second fastest time ever. It was her second gold medal of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and four years later in Innsbruck, she would win all four women's races.
|1||Lidiya Skoblikova||20||Soviet Union||URS||Gold||5:14.3||1:00||1:41||2:22||3:05||3:47||4:31||22||OR|
|2||Valentina Stenina||25||Soviet Union||URS||Silver||5:16.9||1:01||1:43||2:26||3:08||3:51||4:34||22||OR|
|8||Jeanne Ashworth||21||United States||USA||5:28.5||1:03||1:44||2:27||3:11||3:57||4:43|
|9||Tamara Rylova||28||Soviet Union||URS||5:30.0||1:03||1:46||2:28||3:12||3:58||4:44||23||OR|
|18||Cornelia Harrington||16||United States||USA||5:57.5||1:10||1:58||2:44||3:31||4:20||5:11|
|19||Beverly Buhr||18||United States||USA||6:03.1||1:08||1:53||2:38||3:27||4:20||5:13|
|20||Kim Gyeong-Hoe||19||South Korea||KOR||6:08.2||1:05||1:50||2:39||3:31||4:23||5:15|