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Short Track Speed Skating at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games:

Women's 500 metres

Short Track Speed Skating at the 1994 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Lillehammer, Norway
Venue(s): Olympic Amphitheatre, Hamar
Date Started: February 24, 1994
Date Finished: February 24, 1994
Format: Placements 1-8 based on final and B final. Deeper placements based on points earned in earlier rounds, and time in final round skated.

Gold: USA Cathy Turner
Silver: CHN Zhang Yanmei
Bronze: USA Amy Peterson

Summary

After her title in 1992, former bar singer Cathy Turner had returned to show business, skating in the Ice Capades revue. She was fired soon and picked up the sport again 7 months before the Games. Meanwhile, her rivals had continued normally. China's Zhang Yanmei improved the World Record during the 1993 World Championships in Beijing, although the distance was eventually won by the overall World Champion, Nathalie Lambert.

Turner already had a reputation for being an aggressive skater - "competitive" in her own words - and she displayed this again at the Lillehammer Games. In the quarter-finals, Turner bumped several times into Lambert, sending her into the boards and out of contention. While Lambert named Turner "the dirtiest woman on skates", the American continued unabashedly. She survived a fall in the semis (for which Isabelle Charest was disqualified), and made it into the final. Zhang led the decider with two laps to go, when Turner made a move to pass her. In doing so, she clearly touched the Chinese woman, who claimed Turner had grabbed her. But the referees had not seen anything, and the result was allowed to stand, much to the chagrin of Zhang. Already angered by their disqualification during the relay, she stomped away from the victory ceremony as soon as the U.S. national anthem had finished, throwing away her flowers in anger.

The IOC was not pleased with Zhang's display, for which the Chinese later apologized. However, most of the other skaters seemed to agree with Zhang, as a Belgian proposal to allow referees to see television replays at the upcoming World Championships was quickly signed by all team leaders, except for the Americans. Some opponents took it even further, sending Turner hate mail through the Olympic Village messaging system.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS BT
1 Cathy Turner 31 United States USA Gold
2 Zhang Yanmei 21 China CHN Silver
3 Amy Peterson 22 United States USA Bronze
4 Won Hye-Gyeong 14 South Korea KOR
5 Kim So-Hui 17 South Korea KOR
6 Wang Xiulan 22 China CHN
7T Yang Yang (S) 16 China CHN 9 47.25
7T Isabelle Charest 23 Canada CAN 9 47.25
9 Ayako Tsubaki 24 Japan JPN 7 47.51
10 Sylvie Daigle 31 Canada CAN 7 55.59
11 Marinella Canclini 19 Italy ITA 6 1:28.77
12 Karen Gardiner-Kah 33 Australia AUS 5 47.90
13 Sandrine Daudet 21 France FRA 5 47.97
14 Nathalie Lambert 30 Canada CAN 4 1:05.45
15 Jeon I-Gyeong 18 South Korea KOR 4 1:09.56
16 Marina Pylayeva 27 Russia RUS 3 DQ
17 Yelena Tikhonova 16 Russia RUS 2 47.79
18 Katia Mosconi 20 Italy ITA 2 47.90
19 Anke Jannie Landman 19 Netherlands NED 2 48.36
20 Viktoriya Troitskaya-Taranina 24 Russia RUS 2 48.59
21 Yelena Sinitsina 22 Kazakhstan KAZ 2 50.36
22 Laure Drouet 23 France FRA 2 50.47
23 Evgeniya Radanova 16 Bulgaria BUL 2 50.67
24 Barbara Baldissera 16 Italy ITA 2 1:19.96
25 Debbie Palmer 18 Great Britain GBR 1 47.93
26 Penèlope di Lella 19 Netherlands NED 1 48.44
27 Bea Pintens 21 Belgium BEL 1 49.59
28 Valérie Barizza 26 France FRA 1 50.30
29 Cindy Meyer 29 South Africa RSA 1 1:17.18
30 Sofie Pintens 19 Belgium BEL 0 DQ