Terry McDermott (speed skater)

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Terry McDermott
Terry McDermott 1968.jpg
McDermott at the 1968 Olympics
Personal information
Full nameRichard Terrance McDermott
BornSeptember 20, 1940 (1940-09-20) (age 78)
Essexville, Michigan, U.S.[1]
SportSpeed skating
ClubBoston Ski and Sports Club
Coached byLeo Freisinger[2]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)500 m – 39.6 (1964)
1000 m – 1:28.0 (1968)
1500 m – 2:22.1 (1968)[1]

Richard Terrance "Terry" McDermott (nicknamed "The Essexville Rocket",[3] born September 20, 1940) is an American gold and silver medal winning Olympic speed skater.

McDermott was a surprise winner in the 500 m at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck when he beat the favorite in that distance, reigning Olympic champion Yevgeny Grishin, by half a second. His coach at the time was Leo Freisinger, the 500 m bronze medal winner of the 1936 Winter Olympics.[2] McDermott's international career consisted exclusively of the 500 m at the Olympic Winter Games of 1960, 1964 and 1968. In 1968 he skated in unfavorable conditions, late in the day when the sun melted the ice. Yet he finished only 0.2 seconds behind the winner.[1]

McDermott was inducted in the National Speedskating Hall of Fame on June 4, 1977.[4] At the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, McDermott took the Olympic Oath representing the judges.[1]

McDermott worked as a barber from 1963 to 1967, and after that as a manufacturer's representative in the Detroit area. In parallel he served as a speed skating official.[1] On February 9, 1964, he was a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show, an appearance that was overshadowed by the first U.S. performance of The Beatles.[3] He currently resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He is married to Virginia,[5] and has 5 children and an elder sister Marilyn.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Richard Terrance "Terry" McDermott". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
  2. ^ a b File:Leo Freisinger and Terry McDermott 1964.jpg
  3. ^ a b Essexville's Terry McDermott shocked the world with Olympic gold in 1964 Games MLive.com, February 11, 2010
  4. ^ SPEED SKATERS. nationalspeedskatingmuseum.org
  5. ^ File:Virginia McDermott 1964.jpg
  6. ^ Terry McDermott. Essexville, Bay County, MI / BAY-JOURNAL

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Parry O'Brien
Flagbearer for  United States
Grenoble 1968
Succeeded by
Janice Romary