Speed Skating Hall of Fame

Sheila Young-Ochowicz

Born: October 14, 1950 - Birmingham, Michigan (USA)

Sheila Young, from Detroit, Michigan, was determined to become the fastest woman on earth after she finished 4th on the Olympic 500 m in Sapporo 1972. She succeeded in two ways; as a speed skater and as a track bycyclist. In 1973 she won both the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships and the World Track Cycling Sprint Championships, becoming the first athlete to win World Championships in two sports the same year. In 1973 she became the first woman to skate a sub 42 seconds 500 m when she did 41,8 in Davos, 35 years after Norwegian sprinter Hans Engnestangen did the same in Davos. 3 years later she skated the first sub 41 500 m just before the Innsbruck Olympic Games (40,91). In the Games she proved once again to be the fastest woman, by winning the 500 m. She also placed 2nd on the 1500 m and 3rd on the 1000 m.

She won both the speed skating sprint title (1975 and 1976) and the track cycling sprint title (1975 and 1981) two times more.

Her daughter, Elli Ochowicz is also a speed skater. She entered the US national team in 1999/2000, only 15 years old, and she took part in three Olympic Games (2002, 2006 and 2010), placing 17th on the 500 m in Vancouver 2010 as her best result.

Highest rank on the Adelskalender: 9 (1976)

Bjarte Hetland, January 28, 2014

Career summary


Podia at championships

yearpositionchampionshipplace
19731 World Championship SprintOsloNOR
19753 World Championship AllroundAssenNED
1 World Championship SprintGöteborgSWE
19761 Olympic Winter Games 500 metersInnsbruckAUT
3 Olympic Winter Games 1000 metersInnsbruckAUT
2 Olympic Winter Games 1500 metersInnsbruckAUT
3 World Championship AllroundGjøvikNOR
1 World Championship SprintWest BerlinFRG

World Records

#disciplinerecorddateplace
1500 meters0:41.8Jan 19, 1973DavosSUI
2Sprint combination173.450Jan 19/20, 1973DavosSUI
3500 meters0:40.91Jan 31, 1976DavosSUI
4500 meters0:40.68Mar 13, 1976InzellFRG
5Sprint combination166.210Mar 12/13, 1976InzellFRG

Personal Bests

distancetimedateplace
500m0:40.68Mar 13, 1976InzellFRG
1000m1:24.38Mar 13, 1976InzellFRG
1500m2:17.06Feb 5, 1976InnsbruckAUT
3000m5:05.65Feb 2, 1975InzellFRG