Speed skater Lidiya Skoblikova first competed in the Olympic Winter Games in 1960. She won gold medals in the 1,500m and the 3,000m, setting a world record in the former event. She also placed fourth at 1,000m.
A favourite in three out of four distances…
At the 1963 world championships, she won all four distances that were contested. When the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck began, Skoblikova was considered the heavy favorite in the 1,000, the 1,500 and the 3,000, but was thought to be vulnerable in the 500m, the first women's speed skating race of the Games.
…she wins gold in all four
In fact, Skoblikova led a Russian sweep in the 500. The next day, she set an Olympic record in the 1,500m, winning by 2.9 seconds, the largest margin in the history of the event. She went on to win the 1,000m and the 3,000m to become the first person to earn four gold medals in a single Winter edition of the Games. She was also the first winter athlete to win six career gold medals and she remains the only woman in the history of the Winter Games to win six gold medals in individual events.