Inducted May 20, 1989
Eric was born June 14, 1958. He first started to compete in pack style skating and won the National Indoor and Outdoor Championships as a midget. The first medal he ever won was a bronze in metric skating in 1975. The next year, he went on to win a gold and two silvers at the Junior Worlds and a gold at the Worlds. In 1977, he made a sweep, never before done, by winning the Junior Worlds, the World Sprints, and the Worlds. Eric then went on to win Junior Worlds in 1978 with four gold medals and won the Worlds with three gold medals. His winning all five events and setting four Olympic records and one World record at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics has never been equaled.
Dr. Heiden is an orthopedic surgeon in Park City Utah. He has been team physician for US Speedskating and BMC Racing. Eric was inducted to the National Speedskating Hall of Fame on May 20, 1989 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
ERIC HEIDEN IS CONSIDERED ONE OF IF NOT THE GREATEST SPEED SKATER OF ALL TIME.
As a 17 year old, Eric Heiden competed in the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games, finishing 7th in the 1500m and 19th in the 5,000m. His skating talent then blossomed and he won the overall title at the next three World Championships.
At the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games, Heiden won all five speed skating events from 500m all the way up to 10,000m, setting an Olympic record in every one. In the 1500m he almost fell halfway through, before recovering to win by 37 hundredths of a second. In his final 10,000m victory, Heiden broke the world record by 6.20 seconds.
He was the first person in history to win five gold medals in the same Olympic Games – indeed he won every single event available. This impressive feat marked the pinnacle of Heiden’s skating career.
After his success at Lake Placid, Heiden turned to cycling, won the 1985 US Professional Cycling Championship and competed in the 1986 Tour de France.