Eric Heiden of the United States capped a remarkable Olympic games by winning a fifth gold medal with a record-breaking performance in the ten-thousand metres speed skating at Lake Placid.
GV: Scene at the bottom of the Lady's slalom course
SV AND LV PAN: No. 11 Erika Hess (Switzerland) starts and passes camera on way down to the finish. (3 shots)
SV AND TV TOP VIEW PAN: Spectators watch as No. 7 Christa Kinshofer (West Germany) starts and skis past the camera down to the finish. (4 shots)
SV PAN: No. 9 Hanni Wenzel (Liechtenstein) starts and skis past camera. (2 shots)
SV PAN: Wenzel skis down to the finish
GV AND TOP VIEW: Crowd at finish and Wenzel waving
LV PAN: Eric Heiden (All Gold) (USA) and Viktor Leskin (USSR) wearing blue and red start in the men's 10,000 metre speed skating
LV AND GV PAN: Crowd watch as Heiden and Leskin compete. (2 shots)
TV PAN: Heiden skating through to the finish
LV AND GV: Heiden (now wearing blue and red clothes) waves to crowd as he skates past. (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Eric Heiden of the United States capped a remarkable Olympic games by winning a fifth gold medal with a record-breaking performance in the ten-thousand metres speed skating at Lake Placid. Also on Saturday (23 February) skiier Hanni Wenzel of Liechtenstein bought her medal tally to two gold and one silver with a victory in the women's slalom.
SYNOPSIS: Erika Hess of Switzerland collected the bronze medal for the event when she moved up to third place in the second run ahead of Nadezhda Patrakeeva of the USSR. The Swiss skiier had a final time of one minute 27 point 89 seconds.
Christa Kinshofer of West Germany skied well to capture the silver medal for the event but observers said she never looked like a real danger to be 23-year old Liechtenstein skiier. Kinshofer's combined time was one minute 26 point 50 seconds.
Hanni Wenzel gained her second gold medal for the Olympic with her win in the slalom -- the other was for the giant slalom event. She also won the silver for the downhill, and is only the second woman to win three Alpine skiing Olympic medals. Wenzel skiied confidently from the start and had a lead of point 24 of a second from her first run. Her combined time of one minute 25 point 09 seconds was well ahead of the rest of the field.
In the speed skating, Eric Heiden sealed his reputation as the greatest speed skater ever when he won the ten-thousand metres event, making a clean sweep of the men's speed skating after victories in the five hundred, one thousand, fifteen hundred and five thousand metre races. In this event, he beat the world record by six point two seconds, a record set in 1977 by Victor Leskin of the USSR, who skated against Heiden in this race and finished more than 23 seconds behind him.
The huge crowd which packed the Olympic Oval in front of the Lake Placid High School roared their approval with every passing lap,and gave Heiden a thunderous ovation lasting several minutes when he finished. The 21-year old speed skater says he suffers differently in different races. The worst thing about long races, according to Heiden, is the burning in your throat, which continues for more than a half an hour after the race.
Heiden was the only participant in all five speed skating events but his final effort in the 25-lap race still left him with enough energy to wave to his supporters.