| Event type

500 metres, Women

Date11 February 2014
LocationAdler-Arena, Coastal Cluster, Adler
Participants35 from 12 countries
FormatTwo runs, total time determined placement.
Olympic Record 37.30 / Catriona Le May Doan CAN / 13 February 2002
Olympic Record (2 races)74.75 / Catriona Le May Doan CAN / 13 – 14 February 2002
StarterTrond RatdalNOR
RefereeDaniel CabelducSWE

Where the men’s 500 m had at least eight candidates for the title, the women’s race essentially had just one. Reigning Olympic Champion Lee Sang-Hwa had dominated the event since her somewhat surprising victory in Vancouver. She had won the 2012 and 2013 world titles (2nd in 2011), and since November 2012 had lost only a single 500 m World Cup race. She had beaten the World Record four times in 2013, lowering it from 36.94 to a 36.36. Few other skaters had managed to beat 37 seconds, and Wang Beixing’s 36.85 was the best time not set by Lee. Wang’s compatriot Yu Jing, a former World Record holder, was missing in Sochi, suffering from a hip injury. Together with Wang, American skater Heather Richardson, home favorite Olga Fatkulina and former record holder Jenny Wolf of Germany were highly considered for a medal.

The surprise of the first run was Zhang Hong, another Chinese sprinter. Despite a modest 10.79 opening she recorded the fastest full lap and set the third time of the first run with 37.58. Only in pair 16 could Fatkulina beat that time (by 0.01), enthusiastically cheered on by the crowd. As expected, Lee’s time in the final pair was faster, but with 37.42 the gap was not as large as it had been in earlier competitions. The other favorites were all still in contention as well, and were joined by Margot Boer in 5th and Nao Kodaira in 7th.

Boer was the first of these favorites to hit the ice in the second run, and she slightly improved on her first run mark for a 75.48 total. The time would only be beaten by two skaters in the second run, as Richardson (38.02), Zhang (37.99), Wolf (37.73) and Kodaira (37.72) all had slightly worse times. Fatkulina, however used the crowd’s energy to power to 37.49. Lee’s position never seemed in danger, however, and she demonstrated that by finishing in a new Olympic Record of 37.28 - giving 74.70 as her total, another Olympic Record. This made Lee the third woman to retain her Olympic 500 m title, after Bonnie Blair (who won it at three consecutive Olympics) and Catriona Le May Doan.

In May 2016 WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) commissioned a report, the McLaren Report, to look into allegations of systematic Russian doping and a cover-up to avoid positives at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The report was released in two parts, in July and December 2016, and confirmed the allegations. In 2017 the IOC formed a commission to investigate this, headed by IOC Member Denis Oswald, and usually referred to as the Oswald Commission. In late October 2017 the Oswald Commission began to release its findings.

On 22 November 2017 the silver medalist in this event, Olga Fatkulina was disqualified based on findings from the Oswald Commission. She immediately appealed this ruling to the Court of Abritration for Sport (CAS), and about 10 days before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics began, the CAS reached a decision and Fatkulina was exonerated and her silver medal was restored.

PosCompetitorNOCTimeRace #1Race #2
1Lee Sang-HwaKOR74.7037.42 (1)37.28 (1)GoldOR
2Olga FatkulinaRUS75.0637.57 (2)37.49 (2)Silver1
3Margot BoerNED75.4837.77 (5)37.71 (3)Bronze
4Zhang HongCHN75.5837.58 (3)37.99 (7)
5Nao KodairaJPN75.6137.88 (7)37.72 (4)
6Jenny WolfGER75.6737.93 (8)37.73 (5)
7Wang BeixingCHN75.6837.82 (6)37.86 (6)
8Heather RichardsonUSA75.7537.73 (4)38.02 (8)
9Maki TsujiJPN76.8438.40 (10)38.44 (11)
10Karolína ErbanováCZE76.8638.23 (9)38.621 (13)
11Laurine van RiessenNED76.9938.645 (14)38.35 (9)
12Christine NesbittCAN77.1538.53 (11)38.61 (12)
13Brittany BoweUSA77.1938.81 (17)38.37 (10)
14Miyako SumiyoshiJPN77.2638.644 (13)38.624 (14)
15Lauren CholewinskiUSA77.3538.54 (12)38.804 (19)
16Lotte van BeekNED77.4038.67 (15)38.73 (17)
17Yekaterina MalyshevaRUS77.5538.78 (16)38.76 (18)
18Angelina GolikovaRUS77.6838.82 (18)38.85 (22)
19Marrit LeenstraNED77.7439.03 (21)38.70 (16)
20Lee Bo-RaKOR77.7538.93 (20)38.82 (21)
21Denise RothGER77.7839.08 (23)38.69 (15)
22Yekaterina AydovaKAZ77.8539.04 (22)38.809 (20)
23Qi ShuaiCHN77.8938.89 (19)38.99 (23)
24Kim Hyeon-YeongKOR78.2339.19 (24)39.045 (25)
25Yekaterina LobyshevaRUS78.2439.202 (25)39.042 (24)
26Park Seung-JuKOR78.3139.207 (26)39.11 (26)
27Vanessa BittnerAUT78.5039.33 (30)39.17 (27)
28Anastasia BucsisCAN78.5239.272 (27)39.250 (28)
29Sugar ToddUSA78.5339.278 (28)39.258 (29)
30Yvonne DaldossiITA78.6439.30 (29)39.34 (31)
31Zhang ShuangCHN78.6539.40 (31)39.259 (30)
32Marsha HudeyCAN79.2239.59 (32)39.63 (33)
33Danielle Wotherspoon-GreggCAN79.3239.76 (33)39.56 (32)
34Gabriele HirschbichlerGER79.5139.82 (34)39.69 (34)
DQJudith HesseGER– (DQ)