Erhard Keller

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Erhard Keller
File:Erhard Keller 1971.jpg
Erhard Keller in 1971
Personal information
Born (1944-12-24) 24 December 1944 (age 74)
Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 78 kg (172 lb)
Sport Speed skating
Club MEV, München; DEC Frillensee, Inzell

Erhard Keller (born 24 December 1944) is a former speed skater from Germany.[1]

Competing for West Germany, Keller specialised on the sprint distances – the 500 m and the 1000 m – and he joined the world's sprint skating elite in 1965. In December 1967, he equalled Yevgeny Grishin's world record on the 500 m by skating that distance in 39.5 seconds and the next month, on 28 January 1968, he beat Grishin's world record, to the very day five years after Grishin had set it.[2]

Keller, studying dentistry at the Munich University at the time, then participated in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. There, the "flying dentist" became Olympic Champion on the 500 m (a distance in which he was still the world record holder), making him the first German male Olympic Champion in speed skating in history – before any other East German or West German or German Olympic Champions in speed skating that would follow.[3] He was of course preceded by East-German Helga Haase, who won gold at the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley for the unified German team.

In 1971, Keller became champion at the ISU Sprint Championships (the forerunner of the World Sprint Championships). The next year, he became Olympic Champion on the 500 m again (setting a new Olympic record in the process) at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. After the 1972 speed skating season, Keller became a professional speed skater and he graduated in dentistry in 1973. After 1974, Keller no longer participated in any international tournaments. He became a professional dentist in Munich in 1975 and only participated for a few more years in national tournaments.


File:Erhard Keller 1968.jpg
Erhard Keller in 1968
File:Erhard Keller 1970.jpg
Erhard Keller in 1970
File:Erhard Keller 1973.jpg
Erhard Keller in 1973

World records

Over the course of his career, Keller skated 6 world records (his 500 m world record of 38.0 equalling the existing world record; others would equal it too):

Discipline Time Date Location
500 m 39.2 28 January 1968 Germany Inzell
500 m 38.42 14 March 1971 Germany Inzell
500 m 38.30 2 January 1972 Germany Inzell
500 m 38.0 4 March 1972 Germany Inzell
1000 m 1:18.5 4 March 1972 West Germany Inzell
Sprint combination 155.800 5 March 1972 Germany Inzell


Personal records

To put these personal records in perspective, the last column (WR) lists the official world records on the dates that Keller skated his personal records.

Distance Result Date Location WR
500 m 38.0 4 March 1972 Inzell 38.0
1000 m 1:18.5 4 March 1972 Inzell 1:18.8
1500 m 2:05.5 5 March 1967 Inzell 2:03.9
3000 m 4:42.0 1 January 1966 Inzell 4:26.8
5000 m 8:08.0 13 January 1967 Madonna di Campiglio 7:28.1
10000 m 17:20.6 9 January 1966 Madonna di Campiglio 15:33.0
Big combination 183.938 14 January 1967 Madonna di Campiglio 178.253
Small combination 178.446 5 March 1967 Inzell none
Sprint combination 155.800 5 March 1972 Inzell 156.500

Note that the small combination was not an official ISU world record event until 1981.

Keller has an Adelskalender score of 180.663 points.


  1. Erhard Keller.
  2. Keller 1968, pp. 124–126.
  3. Keller 1968, pp. 178–187.
  4. "Erhard Keller". Retrieved 29 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Eng, Trond. All Time International Championships, Complete results 1889 - 2002. Askim, Norway, WSSSA Skøytenytt, 2002.
  • Keller, Erhard. 74 Schritte zum Ziel, Inzell gab mir die Chance. Munich, Germany: Copress-verlag, 1968. (in German)

External links