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BETH HEIDEN (b. 1959)

Madison, Wisconsin

Beth Heiden

Though often overshadowed in the public's mind by her brother Eric, Beth Heiden is an amazing athlete in her own right. In 1979 she won all four distances at the speed skating World Championships in Oslo. Many expected her to repeat this success at the Olympics in 1980. Unfortunately an ankle injury kept her from performing her best, but she did win a bronze in the 3000 meters. With Eric's five golds, the Heiden family won half the medals awarded to Americans at that Olympics. Like many speed skaters, Beth also competed in cycling; she won United States and World road race championships. While in college she took up cross-country skiing and won the first NCAA women's championship in 1983. In the years since, Beth earned a master's degree in civil engineering, married, and had three children. Today the family lives in Palo Alto, California, and Beth continues to compete in cross-country skiing.

Olympic Career

1976, Innsbruck, Austria
1500 meters: 7th
5000 meters: 19th

1980, Lake Placid, New York
500 meters: 7th
1000 meters: 5th
1500 meters: 7th
3000 meters: BRONZE MEDAL


Red armband worn by Beth Heiden
at the 1980 Olypmics.
(Courtesy of Beth Heiden Reid)

Gold skinsuit worn by Beth Heiden
at the 1980 Olympics.
(Courtesy of Beth Heiden Reid)

Bronze medal won by Beth Heiden
at the 1980 Olympics. Designed by
Tiffany & Company of New York;
cast by Medallic Art Company
of Dayton, Nevada.
(Courtesy of Beth Heiden Reid)
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