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| Event type

500 metres, Men

Date15 February 1980 — 11:53-12:45
StatusOlympic
LocationJames C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid
Participants37 from 18 countries
Olympic Record 39.17 / Yevgeny Kulikov URS / 10 February 1976
StarterUNK
RefereeGeorg PetterssonSWE

The 500 metres was the opening event of the 1980 speed skating competition. The champion was expected to come from the first pair, with Eric Heiden facing the world record holder and defending champion Yevgeny Kulikov (URS). In fact, Kulikov had set four of the last five world records, but all were set in 1975, and all at the Kazakh speed factory of Medeo. Heiden had won the 1977-80 World Sprint championships, but was considered vulnerable because of the short nature of the event, and his best time of 37.80, set at Inzell in 1979, was far from Kulikov’s 37.00 world record. In 1979 Heiden won all four races at the World Sprints, but in 1977-78, he had lost three of the four 500s at the World Sprints. And at the recent 1980 World Sprints, he had lost one 500 to US teammate Tom Plant, but Plant skated only the 1,500 in Lake Placid. Further, Heiden started on the outer, meaning he had to finish on the more difficult inner lane, but it mattered little. Kulikov started slightly faster – 10.08 to 10.13, but Heiden crushed him, 38.03 to 38.37. The time was far off Kulikov’s world record but the ice was not considered fast. Kulikov had a slight stumble on the final curve and later claimed it cost him the gold. In the second pair, Norway’s Frode Rønning posted 38.66, showing how quick Heiden’s time had been. In the fifth pair, Dutch sprinter Lieuwe de Boer, who had recently won both 500s at the Dutch Sprint Championships, came across in 38.48, which would win him the bronze medal. This was somewhat of an upset, as he had never medaled internationally. Nobody could better the times Heiden and Kulikov had set in the first pair and Heiden had his first gold medal.

PosPairSkaterNOCTime
11OEric HeidenUSA38.03ORGold
21IYevgeny KulikovURS38.37Silver
35OLieuwe de BoerNED38.48Bronze
42OFrode RønningNOR38.66
56IDan ImmerfallUSA38.69
65IJarle PedersenNOR38.83
72IAnatoly MedennikovURS38.88
83OGaétan BoucherCAN38.90
919IJan JózwikPOL39.01
107IJan-Åke CarlbergSWE39.03
118OSteffen DoeringGDR39.06
123IOloph GranathSWE39.15
1316IAndreas DietelGDR39.21
146OKaoru FukudaJPN39.24
1517OSergey KhlebnikovURS39.25
=169OKai Arne EngelstadNOR39.30
=164IBert de JongNED39.30
1818IJukka SalmelaFIN39.32
1914OLee Yeong-HaKOR39.33
2010OKazuaki IchimuraJPN39.44
2110IEmmanuel MichonFRA39.47
2215IPertti NiittyläFIN39.54
2314IWang NianchunCHN39.73
244OJim ChapinUSA39.74
2513OEsa PuolakkaFIN39.76
269IJacques ThibaultCAN40.11
2715OVasile CoroșROU40.30
=287OHilbert van der DuimNED40.42
=2811IGiovanni PaganinITA40.42
3013IDezideriu JeneiROU40.84
3111OZhao WeichangCHN41.18
3212OMike RichmondAUS41.22
3316OSu HeCHN41.26
3417IDorjiin TsenddooMGL41.68
3518OTömörbaataryn NyamdavaaMGL42.41
368IJohan GranathSWE1:21.44fall
AC12IArchie MarshallGBRDQ