Erhard Keller

Erhard Keller

Erhard Keller in 1971
Personal information
Born (1944-12-24) 24 December 1944
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.


Erhard Keller in 1968
Erhard Keller in 1970
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):

500 m39.228 January 1968Germany Inzell
500 m38.4214 March 1971Germany Inzell
500 m38.302 January 1972Germany Inzell
500 m38.04 March 1972Germany Inzell
1000 m1:18.54 March 1972West Germany Inzell
Sprint combination155.8005 March 1972Germany 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.

500 m38.04 March 1972Inzell38.0
1000 m1:18.54 March 1972Inzell1:18.8
1500 m2:05.55 March 1967Inzell2:03.9
3000 m4:42.01 January 1966Inzell4:26.8
5000 m8:08.013 January 1967Madonna di Campiglio7:28.1
10000 m17:20.69 January 1966Madonna di Campiglio15:33.0
Big combination183.93814 January 1967Madonna di Campiglio178.253
Small combination178.4465 March 1967Inzellnone
Sprint combination155.8005 March 1972Inzell156.500

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

Keller has an Adelskalender score of 180.663 points.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Erhard Keller.
  1. Erhard Keller.
  2. Keller 1968, pp. 124–126.
  3. Keller 1968, pp. 178–187.
  4. "Erhard Keller". Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  • 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)
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