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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Heiden wakes up to world record
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com


Feb. 23, 1980

Celebrating with the U.S. hockey team last night after its stunning victory over the Soviet Union, speed skater Eric Heiden oversleeps before his 10,000-meter race.

"I was supposed to get up at 6:30," he says. "At 20 to 8 they were pounding on my door, wanting to know where I was. So I ran by the cafeteria, grabbed three slices of bread and hurried to the track."

And on his near-empty stomach, Heiden becomes the first person to win five individual gold medals in one Olympics by shattering the world record by 6.2 seconds. He finishes in 14:28.13.

Sounding neither arrogant nor flippant, Heiden says about his five gold medals: "I guess I'll put them with the rest of the trophies and stuff. In my mom's dresser. They'll collect dust. The medals just don't mean that much to me in themselves. What can you do with them?

"I'd rather win a nice warm-up suit, something I can use. Maybe I'll sell them when I get old and I need the money."





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