Speed Skaters in Multiple Events

In 1980 Eric Heiden stunned the Olympic and speedskating world by winning five gold medals in the five speedskating events then on the Olympic Program – 500, 1000, 1500, 5 and 10K. With skaters becoming more and more specialized as sprinters or distance skaters, this will never occur again. In fact, it has been fairly rare for any skater to skate in all the five individual events on the program – man or woman. It has not happened since 1988 for men and 1994 for women. More recently, it is uncommon for the specialist skaters to enter 4 of the 5 individual events. Following are the skaters to have entered the 5 individual events since 1980, or 4 individual events since 1998.

Year      Name                                                    #IndEvents

Men

1980      Eric Heiden (USA)                                                        5

1980      Pertti Niittylä (FIN)                                                     5

1980      Hilbert van der Duim (NED)                                  5

1984      Michael Hadschieff (AUT)                                       5

1984      Lee Yeong-Ha (KOR)                                                   5

1984      Hans van Helden (FRA)                                             5

1988      Michael Hadschieff (AUT)                                       5

1988      Hans van Helden (FRA)                                             5

1998      KC Boutiette (USA)                                                      4

2006      Chad Hedrick (USA)                                                     4

2010      Shani Davis (USA)                                                          4

2010      Håvard Bøkko (NOR)                                                   4

 

Women

1988      Han Chun-Ok (PRK)                                                      5

1988      Seiko Hashimoto (JPN)                                                5

1988      Ariane Loignon (CAN)                                                  5

1988      Andrea Ehrig-Schöne-Mitscherlich (GDR)      5

1988      Erwina Ryś-Ferens (POL)                                           5

1992      Mihaela Dascălu (ROU)                                               5

1992      Seiko Hashimoto (JPN)                                                5

1992      Cerasela Hordobeţiu (ROU)                                      5

1994      Emese Dörfler-Antal (AUT)                                       5

1994      Cerasela Hordobeţiu (ROU)                                      5

1998      Emese Nemeth-Hunyady (AUT)                             4

1998      Jennifer Rodriguez (USA)                                           4

2002      Cindy Klassen (CAN)                                                     4

2002      Maki Tabata (JPN)                                                           4

2002      Varvara Barysheva (RUS)                                            4

2002      Anni Friesinger-Postma (GER)                                  4

2006      Cindy Klassen (CAN)                                                      4

2006      Kristina Groves (CAN)                                                   4

2006      Katarzyna Wójcicka-Bachleda-Curuś (POL)    4

2006      Maki Tabata (JPN)                                                            4

2010      Kristina Groves (CAN)                                                   4

In the above note that Seiko Hashimoto has done this twice (as have 4 other women and 2 men). Hashimoto is interesting as she has competed in more Olympics than any other Winter Olympian, with 7, even though the record for appearances at the Winter Olympics is 6. Hashimoto competed in speed skating in 1984/88/1992/1994 and in cycling at the Summer Olympics in 1988/1992/1994.

In all these are how many skaters have competed in all available individual events at the Winter Olympics:

Men    IndEvents     Women    IndEvents

1924           11                  4                  —                  —

1928           —    (no full startlist for 10K available)

1932             8                   4                  —                  —

1936           17                  4                  —                  —

1948           12                  4                  —                  —

1952             7                   4                  —                  —

1956           10                  4                  —                  —

1960           11                  4                  13                    4

1964             6                  4                  13                    4

1968             8                  4                  11                    4

1972             7                  4                     5                    4

1976             2                  5                     8                    4

1980             3                  5                  11                    4

1984             3                  5                     8                    4

1988             2                  5                     5                    5

1992             0                  5                     3                    5

1994             0                  5                     2                    5

1998             0                  5                     0                    5

2002             0                  5                     0                    5

2006             0                  5                     0                    5

2010             0                  5                     0                    5

So you can see how rare this has become. Nobody will compete in all 5 individual events at Sochi. The speed skaters have become too specialized, with most of them either sprinters, such as Korean female Lee Sang-Hwa, or distance specialists, such as Dutchman Sven Kramer, or in the case of Shani Davis, a mid-distance specialist.

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