Jack Shea

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Amos "Jack"•Shea
Used nameJack•Shea
Born7 September 1910 in Lake Placid, New York (USA)
Died22 January 2002 in Saranac Lake, New York (USA)
AffiliationsDartmouth Big Green, Hanover (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2


Taking time off from his senior year at Dartmouth College to compete in the Olympics, Jack Shea came home to a hero’s welcome in his hometown of Lake Placid. The local fans were expecting big things from Shea and he would not disappoint them. Shortly after the opening ceremonies, the heats of the 500 meters began and Shea easily qualified for the final. He won that final and the next day 5 February he added a second gold medal when he took the 1,500 meter event. Jack Shea was no stranger to winning speed skating races. He had been 1929 U.S. National and 1930 North American champion. Still, he competed very little after the Olympics and it remains his finest moment in sports. Shea settled in his hometown of Lake Placid. He went on to become town manager and when the tiny hamlet again was awarded the Olympic Winter Games, Jack Shea helped out and served as a key figure on the organizing committee for the 1980 Games. Shea’s son, Jim Shea, competed in the 1964 and 1968 Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing. His grandson, Jim Shea, Jr., competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics and won a gold medal in the skeleton event. Sadly, Jack Shea had planned on watching his grandson compete in Salt Lake, but was killed in a car accident shortly before the Games began.

Personal Bests: 500 – 45.0 (1931); 1500 – 2:25.2 (1931).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) USA Jack Shea
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1932 Winter Olympics 4 February 1932 Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Final Round 43.4 1

Olympic family relations

Special Notes