Lidiya Skoblikova of the Soviet Union holds the Olympic record with six Olympic gold medals for speed skating. She was a world class performer before women’s speed skating was added to the Olympic Programme at the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, having won bronzes at the 1959 and 1960 World All-Around Championships and winning distance golds in the 500 and 3,000 at the 1960 World Championships. At the 1960 Winter Olympics, she won gold medals in the 1,500, with a new world record, and the 3K. In the next years, she would continue her success, by winning another bronze at the 1961 World All-Around championships and silver in 1962. At the 1963 World All-Around Championships, Skoblikova won the World title by winning all four races, setting a 1,000 world record in the process. At the 1964 Winter Olympics, she became the first woman to win all four speed skating events at one Games, setting Olympic records in the 500, 1,000, and 1,500 and was only deprived of a fourth Olympic record by adverse ice conditions in the 3,000. A week later at the 1964 World All-Around Championships, she repeated her victories in all four distances to win her second world title. After that she took a break from skating to give birth to a son, but made a comeback in 1967. At first her comeback was successful, as she set her third world record, this time at 3,000 in Oslo, but she failed to medal at the 1967 and 1968 World All-Arounds and at the 1968 Olympic Winter Games. Domestically Skoblikova never won the Soviet all-around title, but won medals at every championships in which she competed, winning three silvers and four bronzes. She was also a 15-time Soviet Champion in various distances. After finishing her competitive career, Skoblikova moved to Moscow and began to work as a speed skating coach with Lokomotiv Moskva. In 1973 Skoblikova began study at The Academy of Labor and Social Relations in Moscow (then named the Higher School of the Labor Union) and received a candidate degree in pedagogy in 1979. In 1983, Skoblikova, then a member of the Soviet National Olympic Committee, received the Olympic Order in Silver from the IOC. She also worked twelve years as a president of the Russian Skating Federation and in the 1990s, was the head coach of Russian national speed skating team. In 1996, Skoblikova was inducted to the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Her husband Aleksandr Polozkov was a successful sport walker in the 1960s, her son Georgy worked as a coach with the Russian women’s national speed skating team in 1990s, and her daughter-in-law Nataliya was a speed skater who competed at the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics.
Personal Bests: 500 – 45.0 (1964); 1000 – 1:31.8 (1963); 1500 – 2:21.8 (1962); 3000 – 5:04.2 (1964).