|Date||10 February 1984 — 16:15-17:45|
|Location||Pista za brzo klizanje Zetra, Sarajevo|
|Participants||33 from 16 countries|
|Olympic Record||41.78 / Karin Enke GDR / 15 February 1980|
The defending champion was East German Karin Enke. A former figure skater, in 1980, she was quite unknown until a few weeks before the Olympics when she won the World Sprints. But by the time of the 1984 Winter Olympics she was the best speed skater in the world. She had won the World Sprints again in 1981 and 1983, and was all-around World Champion in 1982 and 1984, finishing second in 1981 and 1983. She was favored in this event, and already had won the 1,500 in Sarajevo the day before the 500. One challenge was expected to come from her teammate Christa Rothenburger, who in 1983 at Medeo, had set the world record with 39.69. The first four pairs had no major favorites, with the leader at that point Soviet Nataliya Shive, who had crossed in 41.50. Rothenburger went off in the fifth pair and crushed that mark, posting 41.02 on the slow Sarajevo ice. Enke was in the next pair. But her start was quite slow for her, 11.09 to Rothenburger’s 10.84, and that start time was only the sixth fastest of the competition. Enke could never quite recover from the slow start, and finished in only 41.28. Nobody else came close and Rothenburger had the gold medal in an upset, with Enke holding on for silver, and Shive getting the bronze.
Rothenburger and Enke would come back and medal in the 500 again in Calgary in 1988. But they would finish 2-3 behind American Bonnie Blair, who would win this event in 1988-1992-1994. Blair skated in Sarajevo, finishing eighth in 42.53. In 1986, Rothenburger would win the world sprint cycling championship, and finish second in that event in 1987. She would also win an Olympic silver medal in sprint cycling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In her Olympic career, Rothenburger would win five Olympic medals – one in cycling and four in speed skating, adding a bronze in this event in 1992 and winning the 1,000 at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
|24||15O||Edel Therese Høiseth||NOR||43.96||11.72|