|Date||4 February 1964 — 12:40|
|Location||Eisschnellaufbahn im Olympiaeisstadion, Innsbruck|
|Participants||44 from 19 countries|
|Olympic Record||40.2 / Yevgeny Grishin URS / 24 February 1960|
40.2 / Yevgeny Grishin URS / 28 January 1956
Yevgeny Grishin had won the gold medal in both 1956 and 1960 and had not lost an international 500 since 1956, when he placed second at the distance at the World Championships. He was the world record holder and won the distance at the 1962 and 1963 Worlds, and the 1962 European Championship. Although he was now 33-years-old, he was still the favorite. Skating in the second pair, Grishin posted 40.6, which looked solid, and held up for a long time. The time was equaled in the fourth pair by his teammate, Vladimir Orlov, and Norway’s Alv Gjestvang, skating in the seventh pair, but nobody beat it for a long time. The in the 17th pair, unheralded American Terry McDermott, using skates borrowed from his coach, 1936 500 bronze medalist Leo Freisinger, shocked everyone with a Olympic record time of 40.1. McDermott was skating in his first international event and had skated almost exclusively pack-style prior to the 1964 Winter Olympics. But his time held up for an unlikely gold medal, and it would be the only gold medal won by the United States at the Innsbruck Olympics. In 1968, McDermott would return to win a silver medal, despite skating late in the day, on very slow ice due to a thaw. Grishin, Orlov, and Gjestvang all won silver medals. McDermott’s brother, Don, had won a silver medal in the 500 at the 1952 Winter Olympics.
|6||13I||Eddie Rudolph, Jr.||USA||40.9||–|