The First Female Gold Medalists, Week 5: Long Track Speedskating & Equestrian

Excerpts taken from Team USA’s article dated March 24, 2016. 

This week, we head back in time to the Munich Winter and Montreal Summer Games, to look at the first female gold medalists in long track speedskating and equestrian.

1972, Munich – Long Track Speedskating – Dianne Holum

Holum competed at the Grenoble 1968 Olympic Winter Games as a 16-year-old, winning silver in the 500-meter and bronze in the 1,000-meter. She returned to the Games in Sapporo in 1972 and claimed gold in the 1,500-meter, setting an Olympic record in the process, before earning another silver, this time in the 3,000-meter. That same year, she won the 1,000-meter at the world sprint championships to earn silver overall. She then retired from speedskating and became a coach, instructing the likes of Eric Heiden, who would go on to win five Olympic gold medals of his own.

1976, Montreal – Equestrian – Mary Anne Tauskey

In 1974, Tauskey was a waitress at the hotel at which the U.S. equestrian team stayed before the world championships. In 1976, she was the first female U.S. Olympic champion in the sport, taking gold in eventing on her horse Marcus Aurelius. The two also won gold at the 1975 Pan American Games as members of the eventing team.