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Eric Arthur Heiden (born June 14, 1958) is an American former long track speed skater who won all the men's speed skating races, and thus an unprecedented five individual gold medals, and set four Olympic records and one world record at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York, United States. He also took the Athlete's Oath at those same games. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin.

Heiden is an icon in the speedskating community and, in particular, in Europe where the sport is highly regarded. His victories are significant as few speed skaters (and athletes in general) have won competitions in both sprint and long-distance events. He is considered by some to be the best overall speedskater (short and long distances) in the sport's history. Heiden ranked #46 in ESPN's SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century in 1999, the only speed skater to make the list.

During his short speed skating career, Heiden won 3 World Allround Championships and 4 World Sprint Championships.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eric Heiden."
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