At the age of sixteen, Dianne Holum earned a silver medal in the 500m race at the 1968 Winter Games by finishing in a three-way tie for second place with two other Americans, Jennifer Fish and Mary Meyers. Two days later, she added a bronze medal in the 1,000m event.
At the 1972 Games in Sapporo, the skater won a gold medal at 1,500m by setting an Olympic record. After finishing sixth at 1,000m, Holum closed out her Olympic career by gaining a silver medal in the 3,000m race.
The following year, Dianne turned to coaching and began 14-year-old Eric Heiden on the road to the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, where he won five gold medals.