Lee had the fastest time in both the 500-meter heats that are contested in the event and she set an Olympic record of 37.28 in her second run.
The silver medal was won by Olga Fatkulina of Russia and the bronze went to Margot Boer of the Netherlands. The first three speed skating races of these Olympics had gone to Dutch skaters.
American Heather Richardson, who was fourth after the first run, wound up eighth. She was trying to become the first U.S. woman to medal in the event since Bonnie Blair won the last of her three straight golds at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer.