In 1980, no athlete in any Winter Olympic games had ever won five individual gold medals. Eric Heiden changed that, winning five in speed skating. The night before his fifth and final event, the 10,000-meter race, he went to the U.S.-Soviet Union hockey game. So thrilled after the American victory, he had issues falling asleep, and then overslept for his race. He hurried to the race, then broke the world record by 6.2 seconds.
Miracle On Ice
The victory paved the way for the Americans to take the gold medal after beating Finland in the final. The Soviets had won five of the last six Olympic gold medals and had defeated the NHL All-Stars 6-0 a year earlier.RANK: 1 LOCATION: Olympic Center | Lake Placid, NY DATE: 2/22/1980 CATEGORY: Winter Olympics