Leah Poulos in 1977
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||59 kg (130 lb)|
Leah Jean Poulos (born October 5, 1951, Berwyn, Illinois, USA) is a former speed skater.
Leah Poulos specialized in the sprint events and made her international debut at the World Sprint Championships (then called the ISU Sprint Championships) in 1970, where she won a silver medal in the 500 meter event. She also participated in several World Allround Championships and competed in the 1,500 m and the 3,000 m at the 1972 Winter Olympics. Her first World Championship title came in 1974 when she became World Sprint Champion.
Poulos participated in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck and she entered in three distances. The first race was the 1,500 m, in which she finished 6th. The next day, she skated the 500 m and finished 4th – only 0.04 seconds away from a bronze medal. The day after that, she won silver on the 1,000 m, behind world record holder Tatyana Averina, and ahead of her compatriot Sheila Young, who took the bronze medal. Later that year, she won silver at the World Sprint Championships, behind Sheila Young.
In 1977, she won silver once more at the World Sprint Championships, this time behind Sylvia Burka. In September of that year, she married Peter Mueller – who had also won a medal on the 1,000 m at the 1976 Winter Olympics (his being gold). Poulos Mueller retired from competition for one year. She returned to competition in 1979 and immediately became World Sprint Champion again. The following year, Poulos Mueller finished second at the World Sprint Championships and one week later, at the 1980 Winter Olympics, she participated in the 500 m and the 1,000 m, winning silver in both.
Leah Poulos Mueller was inducted into the National Speedskating Hall of Fame on 13 May 1988.
An overview of medals won by Poulos at important championships she participated in, listing the years in which she won each:
|Championships||Gold medal||Silver medal||Bronze medal|
|Winter Olympics||1976 (1,000 m)
1980 (500 m)
1980 (1,000 m)
|500 m||41.13||13 January 1980||Davos|
|1,000 m||1:23.07||21 January 1980||Davos|
|1,500 m||2:13.98||31 January 1976||Davos|
|3,000 m||5:11.43||26 January 1976||Madonna di Campiglio|
- Leah Poulos-Mueller. sports-reference.com
- Leah Poulos at SkateResults.com
- Personal records from Jakub Majerski's Speedskating Database
- The National Speedskating Museum and Hall of Fame
- Mid-America Speedskating Team – coached by Leah's father, Sam Poulos. Contains pictures of Leah in the Photo Gallery.