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Eric Heiden

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Fit to Play with Jim Johnson: Eric Heiden still the greatest speed skater

(Editor’s Note: This is the first column from Jim Johnson that will focus on sports, exercise and sports medicine.) Like many people across America on February 23, 1980, my eyes were fixed on the television as Eric Heiden lined up for his final race of the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. And like many, my eyes filled with tears as I watched this magnificent athlete churn around the oval for 10,000 meters. Lap after lap went by as we counted the time. Eric was tired; in the past nine days he had raced more times than he could remember. Rather than rest the night before he cheered the U.S. ice hockey team composed of college boys as they beat the USSR. Eric overslept and rushed out with a slice of bread to race his final race.
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