Thursday, June 17, 2010

Great Moments in American Sports - Eric Heiden

Many know about the United States's hockey victory at the 1980 Winter Olympics, but there was another extraordinary "miracle on ice" at those same Olympics that many do not know or have forgotten about. Eric Heiden, born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1958, delivered an amazing speed skating performance at the 1980 Olympics. Heiden won all of the men's speed skating races and set four olympic records and one world record. His triumphs are especially noteworthy considering very few speed skaters have won competitions in both short and long distances. Heiden is the only speed skater to have won all five events in a single Olympic tournament. He accumulated fifteen world records, throughout the course of his skating career. In 1999, ESPN's SportsCentury "50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century" ranked Heiden number forty-six.
Heiden earned his Bachelor of Science degree and his M.D. from Stanford in 1984 and 1991, respectively. He, like his father, is an orthopedic surgeon. He was the team physician for the 2002, 2006, and 2010 U.S. Olympic Speedskating team.

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