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Beth Heiden (b. 1959)

Madison, Wisconsin

Beth Heiden

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.

Source: Beth Heiden Reid.

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.

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 Olympics.

Source: Beth Heiden Reid.


Gold skinsuit worn by Beth Heiden at the 1980 Olympics.

Source: Beth Heiden Reid