Heiden, Eric hī´dən [key], 1958–, American speed skater, b. Madison, Wis. After competing in the 1976 Winter Olympics, he won three consecutive World Speedskating Championships (1977–79). In 1980 at Lake Placid, N.Y., he became the first athlete ever to win five gold medals in a single Winter Olympics. After his retirement from competition, he became an orthopedic surgeon and the medical director of the U.S. speedskating and cycling teams.
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