| Event type

10,000 metres, Men

Date23 February 1980 — 9:35
LocationJames C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Participants25 from 13 countries
Olympic Record 14:50.59 / Piet Kleine NED / 14 February 1976
RefereeGeorg PetterssonSWE

Eric Heiden celebrated his first four gold medals by going to watch the USA-Soviet Union ice hockey match the night before the 10,000. When the US won in a big upset, Heiden was excited, having two close friends on the US team, and he slept little. Oversleeping a bit, his breakfast consisted only of a few pieces of bread grabbed on the way to the rink. The first pair was a tough one with Norway’s Tom Erik Oxholm, who had won bronze in the 5,000, facing American Mike Woods, fourth at the 1979 World All-Arounds. Oxholm got off to a fast start on Woods, who never caught up, with Oxholm posting 14:36.60 and Woods 14:39.53.

Heiden was in the second pair with Soviet Viktor Lyoskin, the world record holder at 14:34.33, a top international competitor, and considered a formidable opponent. Heiden’s PR going into Lake Placid was 14:43.11 and Lyoskin tried to intimidate him, starting out at a suicidal pace, leading by over 2 seconds at eight laps. But Heiden skated his own race, steadily grinding Lyoskin down, catching him shortly after the 12th lap, and then crushing him in the second half of the race, eventually bettering his time by over 23 seconds. Heiden finished in 14:28.13, a remarkable world record considering the slow Lake Placid rink and it would bring him his unprecedented fifth gold medal.

This was the first time that any Olympic athlete had won five individual gold medals at a single Olympic Games, and that would not be equaled until Michael Phelps did so in swimming at Beijing in 2008. Oxholm would eventually win a bronze medal, with Woods finishing fourth, as the silver medal went to Dutchman Piet Kleine, the defending champion, who had been competing internationally since the early 1970s and went off in the sixth pair.

12IEric HeidenUSA14:28.13GoldWR
26IPiet KleineNED14:36.03Silver
31OTom Erik OxholmNOR14:36.60BronzeOR
41IMike WoodsUSA14:39.53
53OØyvind TveterNOR14:43.53
63IHilbert van der DuimNED14:47.58
72OViktor LyoskinURS14:51.72
88OAndreas EhrigGDR14:51.94
94OYasuhiro ShimizuJPN14:57.48
109ISergey BerezinURS15:04.68
115OYep KramerNED15:04.79
126OTomas GustafsonSWE15:05.18
134IAlf RekstadNOR15:05.70
147IÖrjan SandlerSWE15:11.52
1510IAndreas DietelGDR15:15.03
1610ODmitry OgloblinURS15:20.14
175IMasahiko YamamotoJPN15:26.92
187OColin CoatesAUS15:28.30
1911IPertti NiittyläFIN15:29.98
2012IAndrei ErdelyROU15:31.73
219OUlf EkstrandSWE15:33.42
2212OMaurizio MarchettoITA15:56.73
2313INa Yun-SuKOR16:00.41
2411OJohn FrenchGBR16:17.56
DNF8ICraig KresslerUSAfall