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Speed Skating Demonstration at the Winter Olympics

Speed skating was a demonstration sport at the 1932 Olympic Games in Lake Placid. The men's events were officially part of the program, the women's events were classified as a demonstration event, with no medals being awarded. The women's events were contested from February 8-10, 1932.

women speed skaters from the USA at the 1932 Winter Olympics women speed skaters from the USA at the 1932 Winter Olympics

The official report stated that "The girls, favored by good skating conditions on the Olympic 400-meter track at Lake Placid, put on an excellent exhibition and one that caught the fancy of the crowd", and also that "the young ladies displayed excellent sportsmanship, were modest in victory, and never bitter to defeat". Despite the success of this demonstration event, women skaters did not appear on the Olympic speed skating program again until 1960.

The race distances for women were 500 m, 1000 m and 1500 m (the men's events were 500m, 1500m, 5K, 10K). As it was for the men, the competition was held in a pack-style format, meaning that all competitors skated at the same time (nowadays skaters race in pairs).

There were ten competitors in the women's events, five from the USA and five from Canada. There were two heats and a final held for each race distance. The top three results of the finals are listed below.

500m Results

  1. Jean Wilson, Canada
  2. Elizabeth Dubois, United States
  3. Kit Klein, United States

1000 m Results

  1. Elizabeth Dubois, United States
  2. Hattie Donaldson, Canada
  3. Dorothy Franey, United States

1500 m Results

  1. Kit Klein, United States
  2. Jean Wilson, Canada
  3. Helen Bina, United States


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