Dan Jansen is a four-time Olympic long track speedskater, who won an historic gold medal in the 1,000-meter during his fourth and final Olympic Games. He set a junior world record at only 16 years of age during his first international competition, and he made the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team when he was just 18. Jansen was a seven-time overall world cup champion and two-time world sprint champion, holding eight world records and over 75 world cup medals. Though Dan had realized success outside of the Olympic Games, he hadn’t won an Olympic medal until the final event of his Olympic career. He beat the 36-second barrier four times leading up to the Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994–something no other skater had accomplished at that time, and finally earned his first Olympic medal in the 1,000 with a world-record time, additionally winning the 1994 James E. Sullivan Award for the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete. After retiring from speedskating, he served as a CBS sports broadcaster and established the Dan Jansen Foundation to help aid in leukemia research and youth sports programs.
Listen to this episode of the Sport Fuels Life podcast featuring the incredible Dan Jansen below, then come back and tell us what you thought of this conversation!